E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A blustering cheat. Like bully, it is sometimes used without any offensive meaning. Thus the Host, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, addresses Sir John Falstaff, Ford, and Page, etc., as bully-rookHow now, my bully-rook? equal to my fine fellow.
A bully rake is one who fights for fightings sake. To bully-rag is to intimidate; bully-ragging is abusive intimidation. According to Halliwell, a rag is a scold, and hence a ragging means a scolding. Connected with rage.