rattle


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to rattle: rattle off

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

all horns and rattles

Furious. Belligerent. An American cowboy expression referring to the horns of cattle and the rattles of snakes. Joe's been all horns and rattles since the lawsuit. Would you stop yelling and being all horns and rattles? I'm just trying to have a calm conversation with you!
See also: all, and, horn, rattle

rattle (one's) cage

To purposefully anger, upset, or unnerve one, especially to affect their performance or undermine their credibility. He makes a point of taunting his opponents before each match in order to rattle their cage. The audience member asked a number of embarrassing questions about her past in an obvious attempt to rattle her cage.
See also: cage, rattle

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 (one's) dags

To hurry up; to get moving or working; to do something with increased energy, intensity, or effort. Primarily heard in Canada. Come on, rattle your dags—we need to get this project finished! I'm calling on all my fellow citizens to rattle their dags and show the government that we want this legislation overturned.
See also: dag, rattle

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 in something

 
1. Lit. to make a rattling noise inside something. What is rattling around in this package? There is something rattling around in my glove compartment.
2. Fig. to ride about in a vehicle with a rattle. I am perfectly happy to rattle around in my ten-year-old car. Todd rattles around in his grandfather's old car.
3. Fig. to live in a place that is much too big. We have been rattling around in this big old house for long enough. Let's move to a smaller place. I can't afford to rattle around in a three-story house any longer.
See also: around, 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 one's saber

 and rattle its saber
Fig. to make threatening statements or actions. The president is just rattling his saber. He would never attack such a small country!
See also: rattle, saber

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

slightly rattled

 
1. Inf. upset; confused. Tom was slightly rattled by the policeman at the door. I'm slightly rattled. I'll get over it.
2. Inf. tipsy; intoxicated. He's only slightly rattled. He'll recover by morning. she can be really drunk and still seem only slightly rattled.
See also: rattle, slightly

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

rattle someone's cage

If you rattle someone's cage, you do or say something that upsets or annoys them. One thing I've learnt as an editor is that you can't create a truly superb magazine without rattling someone's cage. I don't rattle their cages and they don't rattle mine.
See also: cage, rattle

rattle your dags

AUSTRALIAN, VERY INFORMAL
If you tell someone to rattle their dags, you mean that they should hurry. Come on, rattle your dags or we'll be late! Note: `Dags' are pieces of dried waste on the tail of a sheep that make a rattling noise if the sheep runs.
See also: dag, rattle

rattle your dags

hurry up. Australian & New Zealand informal
Dags are the excreta-clotted lumps of wool at the rear end of a sheep, which, in heavily fouled animals, rattle as they run.
See also: dag, rattle

rattle someone's cage

make someone feel angry or annoyed, usually deliberately. informal
A humorous comparison is implied between the person annoyed in this way and a dangerous animal taunted by spectators outside its cage.
See also: cage, rattle

rattle sabres

threaten to take aggressive action.
See also: rattle, sabre

ˌrattle somebody’s ˈcage

(informal) annoy somebody: Who’s rattled his cage? OPPOSITE: smooth (somebody’s) ruffled feathers
See also: cage, rattle

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

rattled

1. mod. confused; bewildered. He tends to get a little rattled at minor things.
2. mod. tipsy; alcohol intoxicated. After an hour of drinking, Bill was more than a little rattled.
See also: rattle

rattle-trap

n. a rattly (old) car; any rattly vehicle. I hear Ted’s rattle-trap in the driveway.

slightly rattled

1. mod. upset; confused. (see also rattled.) Tom was slightly rattled by the trouble at the door.
2. mod. tipsy; alcohol intoxicated. She can be stone blind and still seem only slightly rattled.
See also: rattle, slightly
References in periodicals archive ?
VEHICLE EXPERIMENT SCHEME OF MANUAL TRANSMISSION GEAR RATTLE PHENOMENON
We've got our first rattle and Thud music showcase booked for February 6.
Squeak and rattle noise has such a huge effect on the perceived quality of a product so has become a real area of focus for engineering teams across industry.
Rattle has five children; Sacha, who is a clarinettist, Eliot, a painter, and young sters Jonas, Milos and baby Aneka.
innerSpirit Rattles perfect for anyone looking for a gift that is both inspiring and useful as well as handmade by an American craftsman.
Another thing we often do to call fish is to insert a hollow rattle tube inside the body cavity of a large baitfish, like a skipjack herring with its head and tail removed.
Rattle, relaxed in pullover and trousers, is a frequent visitor to the economy section throughout the eight-hour flight to Singapore, often stopping to joke with his musicians, who celebrate their landing in each new city with a traditional pillow fight.
Rattle elements could also be incorporated into items that were not intrinsically musical instruments, but nonetheless integrated sound into their spiritual message.
Poundworld Retail Ltd was prosecuted at North Tyneside Magistrates' Court for selling pushchair rattles that potentially posed a danger to children.
If we are really dying, let us hear the rattle in our throats and feel cold in the extremities; if we are alive, let us go about our business.
Sir Simon Rattle had come to the Phil with his Berlin orchestra - probably the most famous, if not the best, in the world.
Firstly, it was the laying of successively thick rows of synthetic adhesive yellow patches at various points on highways that made vehicles rattle with increased intensity that was very bothersome.
DALLAS -- The key point in preventing the death rattle that's so distressing to the family of a dying patient is to avoid the natural inclination to perform suctioning, Dr.
Like most conductors and record companies, Sir Simon Rattle and EMI continue to record most of their new material live.
Many factors can cause an annoying rattle or vibration including loose interior trim, grommets, screws, trim-clips, tie-clips, poorly-fitted satellite navigation systems, hands-free phone kits, i-Pod audio adapter kits and tracker devices.