rattling

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rattle through (something)

To undertake to do or say something rather quickly, especially as a means of finishing as soon as possible. We've only got a few more things to do before we can close up for the night, so let's just rattle through them and get the heck out of here. My boss rattled through the list of regulations so quickly that I couldn't even catch half of what he said!
See also: rattle, through

saber rattling

Words and actions that seek to convey anger, power, and intimidation, often in a military setting. The leaders of these countries need to quit their saber rattling before we end up at war.
See also: rattling, saber

rattle off

To say or recite something very quickly, without much thought or consideration. This guy doesn't know what he's talking about; he's just rattling off a bunch of industry buzz words. The accountant rattled the numbers off to me, but I couldn't tell you what they all meant.
See also: off, rattle

rattle (one's) saber

To make aggressive, blustering, and typically empty threats. I'd like to think that his threats are just him rattling his saber, but I'm not too sure anymore. The boss just likes to rattle her saber every now and then to make herself feel powerful.
See also: rattle, saber

rattle sabers

To make aggressive, blustering, and typically empty threats. I'd like to think that the country's threats of nuclear extermination are just them rattling sabers, but I'm not too sure anymore. The boss just likes to rattle sabers every now and then to make herself feel powerful.
See also: rattle, saber

rattle on

To speak tediously and at great length (about something). He just kept rattling on about literary metaphors and imagery. I didn't know what he was talking about! I caught myself starting to fall asleep while the professor rattled on.
See also: on, rattle

rattle around (something or some place)

1. To make a series of continuous clinking noises (inside of something), like a rattle. A pebble or something must have gotten inside of the casing—I can hear it rattling around. The coins rattled around in her piggy bank as she carried it up the stairs.
2. To make a lot of various clinking or banging noises (in some place or thing). I could hear you rattling around downstairs at 3 AM. What on earth were you doing down there? Don't mind those sounds, it's just Tom rattling around in the attic.
3. To live or spend time in some large, empty or uninhabited place or thing. You can probably find Dr. Fleischer rattling around in his lab. It makes me sad to think of my mother rattling around in that big old house all on her own.
4. To exist persistently in one's mind. I've had this idea rattling around in my head for the last few days that I'm really excited to pursue. I may be nearly 90 years old, but I've still got a few sensible thoughts rattling around up there yet!
See also: around, rattle

rattle away

To speak tediously and at great length (about something). He just kept rattling away about literary metaphors and imagery. I didn't know what he was talking about! I caught myself starting to fall asleep while the professor rattled away.
See also: away, rattle

rattle away

to chatter endlessly and aimlessly. The two old men sat there and rattled away at one another. Tom rattled away at Jane for a few minutes and then left the house.
See also: away, rattle

rattle on (about someone or something)

Fig. to talk endlessly about someone or something. Martin talked incessantly. He would rattle on about any topic whenever he could trap an unfortunate listener.
See also: on, rattle

rattle something off

 and reel something off
to recite something quickly and accurately. She can really reel song lyrics off. Listen to Mary rattle off those numbers.
See also: off, rattle

rattle off

Also, reel off. Utter or perform rapidly or effortlessly, often at length. For example, The treasurer rattled off the list of all those who had not paid their dues, or She reeled off song after song. The verb rattle has been used for fast talking since the late 1300s and for other kinds of fast production since the late 1800s (George Bernard Shaw wrote of "men who rattle off their copy" in a letter of 1896). The verb reel off, which alludes to unwinding from a reel, has been used figuratively since about 1830.
See also: off, rattle

saber rattling

A flamboyant display of military power; also, aggressive blustering. For example, There had been a great deal of saber rattling between the two nations but hostilities had never broken out . This term, originating about 1920 and alluding to an officer indicating he would draw his saber, at first referred to threatening military force but later was extended to more general use, as in Both candidates engaged in pre-debate saber rattling.
See also: rattling, saber

sabre-rattling

COMMON Sabre-rattling is aggressive behaviour in which threats are made, often of military action. Note: `Sabre' is spelled `saber' in American English. He accused the country of sabre-rattling and taking the first step in the trade war. Note: You can also say that someone rattles their sabre or that people rattle sabres. Still, it is good to see both sides talking, rather than rattling sabres at each other. Note: A sabre is a heavy sword with a curved blade that was used in the past by soldiers on horseback.

rattle off

v.
To recite something rapidly and easily; reel something off: She rattled off the names of people who had recently applied for the job opening. He knows every state capital and can easily rattle them off if you ask him to.
See also: off, rattle

rattle on

v.
To talk continuously about something, especially to others not as interested in the subject as the speaker is: They kept rattling on about how much fun they had at the party, but I didn't really care.
See also: on, rattle

rattling

mod. excellent. (see also rocking.) Her party was really rattling.
References in classic literature ?
It went crashing in among his white teeth; the bronze point cut through the root of his tongue, coming out under his chin, and his glistening armour rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground.
It drove through his belt into the lower part of his belly, and his armour rang rattling round him as he fell heavily to the ground.
She was certainly living up to her threat of rattling the dry bones of the Solomons, and he was prepared for anything.
Many ears and eyes were busy with a vision of the matter of these placards, among turning spindles, rattling looms, and whirling wheels, for hours afterwards; and when the Hands cleared out again into the streets, there were still as many readers as before.
Within a week all the blooming roads had been despoiled, hundreds of miles of yellow sunflowers had been transformed into brown, rattling, burry stalks.
And it was so light too; the sun shining in at the window, and a great rattling of coaches in the streets, and the sound of gay voices all over the house.
Commanded by a naval Post-Captain, the Rattler made a rattling voyage of it, and did some service; how much does not appear.
Farther on, it was continually the same again and again: the same shaking and rattling, the same snow on the window, the same rapid transitions from steaming heat to cold, and back again to heat, the same passing glimpses of the same figures in the twilight, and the same voices, and Anna began to read and to understand what she read.
Now do I hear six old fools' legs rattling behind one another!