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PATTER, properly a slang word for the secret or " cant " language used by beggars, thieves, gipsies, etc., hence the fluent plausible talk that a cheap-jack employs to pass off his goods, or a conjuror to cover up his tricks. It is thus used of any rapid manner of talking, and of a " patter-song," in which a very large number of words have to be sung at high speed to fit them to the music. The word, though in some of its senses affected by " patter," to make a series of rapid strokes or pats, as of raindrops, is derived from the quick, mechanical repetition of the Paternoster, or Lord's Prayer.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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