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rat-a-tat (n.)

"a rattling sound or effect," 1680s, echoic, originally of a cooper hammering tubs.

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Definitions of rat-a-tat from WordNet

rat-a-tat (n.)
a series of short sharp taps (as made by strokes on a drum or knocks on a door);
Synonyms: rat-a-tat-tat / rat-tat
From wordnet.princeton.edu