Lady D Eversley: I wonder how #rakes were given their appellation? Because they 'raked' through sexual Society?Good question.
Although it was well past my hour to retire and gain some of my valued beauty rest, I went to my trusty source to answer such questions: The Oxford Dictionary. The definition is as follows:
nounThe word originated in the mid 17th century and is short for the work "rakehell" which doesn't seem to be an official word any more (or ever) since Oxford is void of it.
a fashionable or wealthy man of dissolute or promiscuous habits.
So it appears the answer to the lovely Lady Eversley's question is, "yes." Rakes rake hell.
"rake3 " The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. Ed. T. F. Hoad. Oxford University Press, 1996. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. College of Saint Rose. 5 March 2011