patter

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See also: Pätter

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

1610s, pat +‎ -er (frequentative (indicating repeated action)),[1] of (onomatopoeia) origin.

Noun[edit]

patter (plural patters)

  1. A soft repeated sound, as of rain falling, or feet walking on a hard surface.
    I could hear the patter of mice running about in the dark.
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 7, in The Dust of Conflict[1]:
      The patter of feet, and clatter of strap and swivel, seemed to swell into a bewildering din, but they were almost upon the fielato offices, where the carretera entered the town, before a rifle flashed.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

patter (third-person singular simple present patters, present participle pattering, simple past and past participle pattered)

  1. To make irregularly repeated sounds of low-to-moderate magnitude and lower-than-average pitch.
    The bullets pattered into the log-cabin walls.
  2. To spatter; to sprinkle.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Circa 1400, from paternoster (the Lord's prayer),[1] possibly influenced by imitative sense (above), Latin pater (father), from Proto-Indo-European *ph₂tḗr.

Noun attested 1758, originally referring to the cant of thieves and beggers.[1]

Noun[edit]

patter (countable and uncountable, plural patters)

  1. Glib and rapid speech, such as from an auctioneer or a sports commentator.
    • 1887, Gilbert and Sullivan (lyrics and music), “My Eyes Are Fully Open”, in Ruddigore:
      This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is it doesn't matter.
    • 1975, Garry Marshall et al., “Richie's Flip Side”, in Happy Days, season 2, episode 21, spoken by Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard):
      Dad, I want to be a jock. All a jock needs is some hep patter and a real gone image. Now, they just don't teach that jazz in college.
    • 2017, Jamie Bartlett, chapter 5, in Radicals, William Heinemann, →ISBN:
      As a young man he [Beppe Grillo] performed with a guitar in local bars, but fans preferred his pre-show patter, and he evolved into a successful stand-up comedian.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

patter (third-person singular simple present patters, present participle pattering, simple past and past participle pattered)

  1. To speak glibly and rapidly, as does an auctioneer or a sports commentator.
  2. (intransitive, obsolete) To repeat the Lord's Prayer.
  3. (intransitive, obsolete) To pray.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To repeat hurriedly; to mutter.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

pat +‎ -er (agent)

Noun[edit]

patter (plural patters)

  1. One who pats.
    • 1981, Jackie Cooper, Richard Kleiner, Please Shoot Dog, page 50:
      I used to hate head patters, and I have realized that all children dislike being patted on the head.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “patter”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Anagrams[edit]


Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Noun[edit]

patter m

  1. indefinite plural of patte

Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

patter

  1. indefinite feminine plural of patte