E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Hes a regular rip. A rip of a fellow. A precious rip. Applied to children, means one who rips or tears his clothes by boisterous play, carelessness, or indifference. Anglo-Saxon ryp[an], to spoil, to tear, to break in pieces.
He is a sad rip. A sad rake or debauchee; seems to be a perversion of rep, as in demirep, meaning rep, i.e. rep-robate.
Some forlorn, worn-out old rips, broken-kneed and broken-winded.Du Maurier: Peter Ibbetson, part vi. p. 376.