One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounNorthern English, Scottish
A rat.‘a ratton came and sat down’
- ‘He had a tie hanging down behind, for all the world like a ratton's tail.’
- ‘"It was a ratton drowned in the pit," said the older man.’
- ‘He heard the restless rattons squeak.’
- ‘The four of us can keep our eyes open, and watch them as a dog watches a ratton.’
- ‘"What's bit this thieving creature? Was it a ratton, maybe?" asked Babb nervously.’
Middle English: via Anglo-Norman from Old French raton ‘small rat’. Compare with French raton ‘young rat’, Spanish ratón ‘mouse’.
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