The origin of the name of this Jamaican musical style is unknown. Credit for coining the word goes to Toots Hibbert for his 1968 song Do the Reggay. Some suggest it comes from the Jamaican English rege-rege meaning quarrel or row. Others indicate that it is from raggedy a reference to a quality of the musical style.
From an advertisement in the 7 September 1968 Daily Gleaner of Kingston, Jamaica:
Come do this brand new dance THE REGGAE.
Copyright 1997-2013, by David Wilton