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Alternative forms[edit]


Properly, backrapper, from back- +‎ rapper. From the dialect of Warwickshire in the Midlands of England. Compare backrackets.


backarapper (plural backarappers)

  1. (West Midlands) A firework made from multiple firecrackers folded together so that they will explode one after the other.
    • 1954, Tolkien, J[ohn] R[onald] R[euel], The Fellowship of the Ring[1], Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, published 2012, page 27:
      But there was also a generous distribution of squibs, crackers, backarappers, sparklers, torches, dwarf-candles, elf-fountains, goblin-barkers and thunder-claps.
    • 1956, John Petty, Five fags a day: the last year of a scrap-picker, Secker & Warburg, page 60:
      He would sink like an express lift and leap like a deer: at times he was almost flat on his back and when the hammer cracked he often appeared to be standing on his nose: like a backarapper he fizzed up and down and []
    • 1966, Oswald Harcourt Davis, The master: a study of Arnold Bennett, page 162:
      It would have been so easy to remove these capricious intrusions of manner clashing with theme; so easy to afford quiet relief, as in the first half of the last chapter, instead of throwing in raillery like backarappers.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:backarapper.