The Rake reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
(provided by Fixed Reference: snapshots of Wikipedia from


Watch videos on African life
The Tavern Scene from Enlarge

The Tavern Scene from "The Rake's Progress" by William Hogarth

A rake is a stock character, a man who seduces a young woman and impregnates her before leaving, often to her social or financial ruin. Closely related to the rake is the cad; to call the character a rake calls attention to his promiscuity and wild spending of money; to call the character a cad implies a callous seducer who coldly breaks his victim's heart.

He is often portrayed as a heavy drinker or gambler. An earlier form of the word was rake-hell, a form reshaped by folk etymology to mean someone who stokes the fires of Hell. The actual etymology of the word is from the Old Norse reikall, meaning "vagrant" or "wanderer;" this was borrowed into Middle English as rakel.

Well known fictional rakes and cads include:

Historical figures who have informed the stock character include:

The stock character of the rake can be contrasted with some others. The town drunk is frequently intoxicated, and impoverished by heavy drinking, but here the focus is on the character's alcoholic state rather than on sexual excess; the town drunk is typically older than the rake. The fop and the dandy spend too much money on clothes and fancy living, but the stereotype would have them less sexually effective than the rake.

See also

Rake is a city located in the state of Iowa. See Rake, Iowa.

A rake ia a tool consisting of multiple tines arranged at the end of a long handle, used for cultivating, smoothing, or gathering.