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Rattler   /rˈætələr/  /rˈætlər/   Listen
Rattler

noun
1.
Pit viper with horny segments at the end of the tail that rattle when shaken.  Synonym: rattlesnake.
2.
A railroad train consisting of freight cars.  Synonym: freight train.



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"Rattler" Quotes from Famous Books



... uneasily before the impending tragedy, and their faces paled a little; for nearly every man of the range dreads ptomaine poisoning more than the bite of a rattler. One can kill a rattler, and one is always warned of its presence; but one never can tell what dire suffering may lurk beneath the gay labels of canned goods. But since one must eat, and since canned vegetables are far and away better than no vegetables at all, the Happy Family ate and took their ...
— The Lonesome Trail and Other Stories • B. M. Bower

... just to the left? I dropped a big rock from the Point square on a rattler who was sunning himself there last spring. I can see a foothold all the way up the cliff. It can be done," he concluded, in a tone that made ...
— 'Hell fer Sartain' and Other Stories • John Fox, Jr.

... no garrulous, furry gossip like himself. That mound top was deserted. But at its foot, curled up and basking in the still blaze of the sun, close beside the doorway, lay a thick-bodied, dusty-colored rattler, the intricate markings on his back dimmed as if by too much light and heat. His venomous, triangular head, with the heavy jaw base that showed great poison pockets, lay flat on his coils, and he had the lazy, well-fed appearance of one who does not have to forage for ...
— Children of the Wild • Charles G. D. Roberts

... whether you have bits of revelations from old poets to send, or not. If I had the Mostellaria here, I would read it; or a Rabelais, I would do as Morgan Rattler ...
— Letters of Edward FitzGerald - in two volumes, Vol. 1 • Edward FitzGerald

... that is left of him, beneath that greatcoat," returned the guide, who then briefly related the manner of the Lieutenant's death. "The Tuscarora was as venemous in his blow as a rattler, though he failed to give the warning," continued Pathfinder. "I've seen many a desperate fight, and several of these sudden outbreaks of savage temper; but never before did I see a human soul quit the body more unexpectedly, or at a worse moment for the hopes of the ...
— The Pathfinder - The Inland Sea • James Fenimore Cooper

... out on a little scout himself last summer," remarked Kenton, who, despite their alarming surroundings, seemed to be in somewhat of a reminiscent mood, "when, on his way back, he started through that holler. The fust thing he did was to step into a rattler, which burried his fangs in his leggins, just missing his skin. Afore the sarpent could strike again, the captain made a sweep with his gun bar'l that knocked off his head. He was a whopper, and the captain pulled out his knife to cut off his rattles to bring to the block-house, when he ...
— The Phantom of the River • Edward S. Ellis

... every day and practice. You hadn't ought to have missed that cottontail. What you want is to fire accurately, just as soon as yore gun jumps to the shoulder. I can teach you a wrinkle or two with a six-gun. Then every time you see a rattler, take a crack at it. Keep in form. You might need to bend a gun one of ...
— The Sheriff's Son • William MacLeod Raine

... that I don't appreciate his ''good intentions " by vigorously shaking him off, I turn my "barker "loose on him, and quickly convert him into a "goody-good snake; " for if "the only good Indian is a dead one," surely the same terse remark applies with much greater force to the vicious and deadly rattler. As I progress eastward, sod-houses and dug-outs become less frequent, and at long intervals frame school-houses appear to remind me that I am passing through a civilized country. Stretches of sand alternate with ridable roads ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle V1 • Thomas Stevens

... floating near, And fell like a plummet into the grass. I tramped about, parting the tangles, Till I saw a splash of blood on a stump, And the quail lying close to the rotten roots. I reached my hand, but saw no brier, But something pricked and stunned and numbed it. And then, in a second, I spied the rattler— The shutters wide in his yellow eyes, The head of him arched, sunk back in the rings of him, A circle of filth, the color of ashes, Or oak leaves bleached under layers of leaves, I stood like a stone as he shrank and uncoiled And started to crawl beneath the ...
— The Advance of English Poetry in the Twentieth Century • William Lyon Phelps

... ask him to take me and the snake on home in the cart with him?" exclaimed Mary, as she lifted the rattler into the surrey by means of the lasso, and took the reins from the new boarder's uneasy hands. "Even if you can't drive, Bogus could take you to the ranch all right by himself. Lots of times when Hazel Lee and I are out driving, we wrap the reins around the ...
— The Little Colonel: Maid of Honor • Annie Fellows Johnston

... "A rattler with only one button on the tail carries as much poison as a ten-button one. Rennie ought to cut losses and give that kid the boot. The way he's going he could involve Hunt in a ...
— Rebel Spurs • Andre Norton

... of the most diabolical imaginable. Among the reptiles of Patagonia, Sir Henry, there is one, a species of black adder, known in the country as the Mynga Worm whose bite is more deadly than that of the rattler or the copperhead, and as rapid in its action as prussic acid itself. It has, too, a great velocity of movement and a peculiar power of springing and hurling itself upon its prey. The Patagonians ...
— Cleek, the Master Detective • Thomas W. Hanshew

... "Scabbard-rattler!" he mumbled derisively, as an officer approached. "Clicks his spurs to get attention! Wants you to look at him. Don't you do it. I never do." He closed his eyes tightly, as ...
— In the Claws of the German Eagle • Albert Rhys Williams

... which a young Indian woman, stepping upon a rattlesnake, was bitten, and died. One scene showed her walking along, with the papoose on her back, all unsuspecting of the danger that threatened. Then came a close-up showing the rattler coiled with head raised. The next full-sized scene showed the woman just about to step upon the snake concealed in the grass. In the second close-up which followed, showing only the snake and the woman's moccasined feet, the ...
— Writing the Photoplay • J. Berg Esenwein and Arthur Leeds

... a blessing that a rattlesnake has to coil before it can spring. No one has ever written up life from a rattler's point of view, although it has been unfeelingly stated that fear of snakes is an inheritance from our ...
— A Woman Tenderfoot • Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson

... searching the gulley's edge. Then they saw dimly, twenty feet below, a huddled object half-hidden in the brush. They climbed down none too warily, though they knew well what might be lying, venomous as a coiled rattler, in wait for them below. Slipping and sliding in the fog-dampened grass, they reached the spot, to find the big sorrel crumpled there, dead. They searched anxiously and futilely for more, but Blink was not there, nor was there anything to show that he had ever been there. Then ...
— The Happy Family • Bertha Muzzy Bower

... the building, in a lean-to, there is a double-chamber rattler for the testing of paving brick according to the specifications of ...
— Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, vol. LXX, Dec. 1910 • Herbert M. Wilson

... makes it dead wrong for you to take a hand. If it's necessary to get Marsh, I'll do it alone. With him out of the way, I think you can make a go of it. He's like a rattler—somebody's got to stomp on him. Now I'm off for the trap. Let me know what the ...
— The Silver Horde • Rex Beach

... unimpeachable exactitude of this surmise, he was seen no more in that locality. Judge, then, of our dismay, locally, at learning, not a fortnight later, from a fellow employee of Mayme's, that she had been met at closing time by a swell young guy in a cherry-colored rattler, who took her away to dine with him. Catechized upon the point, later on, by a self-appointed committee of two consisting of the Little Red Doctor and myself, Mayme said vaguely that it was all right; we didn't understand. This is, I believe, the usual formula. The last half of it ...
— From a Bench in Our Square • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... trav'ler, Solace to the toilsome hours. Old Jack Rabbit hopped before him, Then sat up, to watch him pass, Dusky horned-toads scurried nimbly Through the withered buffalo grass. Here and there the buzzing rattler Whirred a warning, head alert, Then retreated from the snapping, Stinging strokes of Billy's quirt. Day by day the wild breeze flying, With'ring in its scorching heat, Hummed a tune to labored beating Of ...
— Nancy MacIntyre • Lester Shepard Parker

... open. But not content with this good deed, the indefatigable house again bestirred itself: Samuel and all his Sons —how many, their mother only knows —and under their immediate auspices, and partly, I think, at their expense, the British government was induced to send the sloop-of-war Rattler on a whaling voyage of discovery into the South Sea. Commanded by a naval Post-Captain, the Rattler made a rattling voyage of it, and did some service; how much does not appear. But this is not all. In 0084 , the same house fitted out a discovery whale ship of their own, to go on ...
— Moby-Dick • Melville

... levered it out of his rifle, after the shooting, and it fell into that hole. You see,"—he could not resist making the triumphant point once more,—"if I hadn't stopped to look for another rattler, I never would have found it. Just that chance—just a little chance like that—throws the biggest criminals. Funny, ain't it?" But she was too preoccupied with the importance of the discovery to dwell on his gifts ...
— Hidden Gold • Wilder Anthony

... trails until he could guess the future by the past, until he could begin to read the character of the stallion. He knew, for instance, the insatiable curiosity with which the chestnut studied his wilderness and its inhabitants. He had seen the trail looping around the spot where the rattler's length had been coiled in the sand, or where a tentative hoof had opened the squirrel's hole. On a night of brilliant moonshine, he had watched through his glass while Alcatraz galloped madly, tossing head and tail, and ...
— Alcatraz • Max Brand

... can give a guess," replied Frank. "That must mean the little owl that lives with the prairie dogs in their holes, along with the poison snake, otherwise the rattler." ...
— The Saddle Boys in the Grand Canyon - or The Hermit of the Cave • James Carson

... wild time," grinned a dark-haired, blue-eyed youngster called Broncho. "Gabby's about as sociable as a rattler. I wouldn't change places with ...
— Shoe-Bar Stratton • Joseph Bushnell Ames

... was eating his noon luncheon on a pine log when he saw a big rattler coiled a few feet in front of him. He eyed the serpent and began to lift his legs over the log. He had barely got them out of the way when the snake's fangs hit the bark ...
— Toaster's Handbook - Jokes, Stories, and Quotations • Peggy Edmund & Harold W. Williams, compilers

... winter." He wanted to tell William Louisa that he was some cowman himself, these days. He thought he had made a pretty good showing in the last twelve months; for when he first met her, at the Cedar Creek ford, he hadn't owned a hoof except the four which belonged to Rattler, his horse. He thought that maybe, if the play came right and he didn't lose his nerve, he might tell William Louisa something else! It seemed to him that he had earned the ...
— The Ranch at the Wolverine • B. M. Bower

... good, Mr. Kennedy. We practically wrote a scenario for those reptiles. Doctor Nagoya was down himself and for the better part of a day it wasn't possible to get a woman in the studio, for fear a rattler or ...
— The Film Mystery • Arthur B. Reeve

... rifle to his shoulder he fired, seemingly without taking aim. His bullet sped true to the mark and severed the head of the now thoroughly angered rattler. He was just in time, for already the muscles of steel had started to launch the ...
— Boy Scouts in Southern Waters • G. Harvey Ralphson

... exclaimed. "I almost crawled on a big rattler. He was so near the color of the ground that I didn't see him until he coiled and raised his head. Gee! That was ...
— The Young Wireless Operator—As a Fire Patrol - The Story of a Young Wireless Amateur Who Made Good as a Fire Patrol • Lewis E. Theiss

... said that shaking the rattles had a strange effect on certain animals. A canary bird sings and a rattler rattles. Perhaps they both think they are improving ...
— The Go Ahead Boys and Simon's Mine • Ross Kay

... be leaping when his first rattler disputed the trail with him, but he mustered courage to attack it with his club. After its head had been crushed, he mastered an Irishman's inborn repugnance for snakes sufficiently to cut off its rattles to show Duncan. With this victory, ...
— Freckles • Gene Stratton-Porter

... slapping against me," he argued; "too darned hot! And there's nothing to use a gun on up on Sentinel.... Oh, well!" He threw the holster upon his bunk and dropped the automatic into the pack he was rolling. "I'll take it along. Might meet up with a rattler." ...
— Astounding Stories, March, 1931 • Various

... Meg saddled for me and brought to the door at half-past eleven, and I shall want Rattler saddled for Pym at the same time. ...
— Adam Bede • George Eliot

... lived, for the resort to weapons was the only remedy known in that land, and Dan Anderson knew the creed, as Barkley should have known it. His weapon leaped out in his hand as he drew back, his lean body bent in the curve of the fanged rattler about to strike. He did strike, but not with the point of flame. The heavy revolver came to a level, but the hooked finger did not press the trigger. Instead, the cylinder smote Porter Barkley full upon the temple, ...
— Heart's Desire • Emerson Hough

... panting flanks and lolling tongue, throws himself on his side exhausted. His mouth is now carefully examined, and two fingers being inserted, scoop round the fauces. The test is successful; there are traces of blood and fluff. "Bravo! Rattler! Show him—good dog. Show him!" Rattler rises with an effort, and lazily strikes into the bush, to the right. We follow in Indian file, and at about half a mile distant we come upon the kangaroo lying dead, with the second dog, old "Ugly," ...
— Forest & Frontiers • G. A. Henty

... good old packhorse, named Rattler, knocked up, and I reluctantly gave orders to leave him behind, when Whiting, the old guardsman, volunteered to remain with him, and bring him on after he had rested: this in the face of both hunger and danger I duly appreciated, and long remembered, to his ...
— Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, Vol 1 (of 2) • Thomas Mitchell

... man also grew serious. "All the same, Hans, keep an eye out," he urged. "Abe is sure to make you trouble. He's started in drinking, and when he's drunk he's poisonous as a rattler." ...
— They of the High Trails • Hamlin Garland

... a soldier. "Any snake'd be discouraged at them shanks. A seven-year rattler'd break ...
— Lazarre • Mary Hartwell Catherwood

... folly. But, most of all, he wanted to drop the casual information, which he should assume to have heard on the train, that Samson South was returning, and to mark, on the assassin leader, the effect of the news. In his new code it was necessary to give at least the rattler's warning before he struck, and he meant to strike. If he were recognized, well—he ...
— The Call of the Cumberlands • Charles Neville Buck

... worked up, didn't he?" he declared, turning his eyes upon Glover. "As for renegades," he went on, beginning to deal the cards again, "I've knowed 'em—hull droves of 'em—to stampede on the whistle of a rattler." Evidently he was returning ...
— Bred of the Desert - A Horse and a Romance • Marcus Horton

... the neighborhood come here to drink, and the rattlesnakes come here to catch them." I then began to cast my eye along the channel, perhaps instinctively feeling a snaky atmosphere, and finally discovered one rattler between my feet. But there was a bashful look in his eye, and a withdrawing, deprecating kink in his neck that showed plainly as words could tell that he would not strike, and only wished to be let alone. I therefore passed on, lifting my foot a little higher ...
— Steep Trails • John Muir

... man that moves," said The Spider in Mexican. And as he spoke his own hand flashed to his armpit, and out again like the stroke of a snake. Behind his gun gleamed a pair of black, beady eyes, as cold as the eyes of a rattler. The deputy read his own doom and the death of at least two of his men should he move a muscle. He had Young Pete covered and could have shot him down; Pete was unarmed. The ...
— The Ridin' Kid from Powder River • Henry Herbert Knibbs

... chap, slim and quick as a rattler. He'd fool you on looks. Came from Louisiana, and gets his name from that and from a sort of coon song he was always singin'. Something about 'My Louisiana—Louisiana Lou!' Don't remember his right name except that it was something like Delaney. Lew Delaney, ...
— Louisiana Lou • William West Winter

... externals. The true harbinger is the heart. When Strephon seeks his Chloe and Mike his Maggie, then only is spring arrived and the newspaper report of the five-foot rattler killed in ...
— The Voice of the City • O. Henry

... that, somehow, the mushrooms were involved. What Kennedy expected to find I could not guess. But from what I had read I surmised that it must be that one of the poisonous varieties had somehow got mixed with the others, one of the Amanitas, just as deadly as the venom of the rattler or the copperhead. I knew that, in some cases, Amanitas had been used to commit crimes. Was this ...
— The Treasure-Train • Arthur B. Reeve

... mighty good imitation of a—diamond-backed rattler, mother! But come on over to the table, son! She isn't as dangerous as she sounds!" The Squire dragged ...
— When Egypt Went Broke • Holman Day

... curious thing that one is reminded at times of Ballantyne's "Martin Rattler," written very much earlier, even down to to the presence of a "recluse". That doesn't mean you won't enjoy the book just as much as you might have enjoyed "Martin Rattler." Best, ...
— On the Banks of the Amazon • W.H.G. Kingston

... novices almost every year. This year (1932) the eleven year old brother of a Hopi girl in the writer's employ went into his first snake dance, as a gatherer, and his sister (a school girl since six) was as solicitous as the writer whenever it was a rattler that Henry had to gather up. But we both felt that we must keep perfectly still, so our expressions of anxiety were confined to very low whispers. Henry was not bitten and if he had been he would not have died. It is claimed and generally believed that no priest has ever died from snake ...
— The Unwritten Literature of the Hopi • Hattie Greene Lockett



Words linked to "Rattler" :   caboose, Sistrurus miliaris, freight car, massasauga rattler, Mojave rattlesnake, rattle, liner train, cabin car, massasauga, prairie rattler, horned rattlesnake, ground rattler, Crotalus scutulatus, pit viper, Crotalus adamanteus, railroad train, Crotalidae, Sistrurus catenatus, Western rattlesnake, Crotalus cerastes, speckled rattlesnake, freight liner, Crotalus lepidus, Western diamondback, sidewinder, diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus mitchellii, Crotalus tigris, family Crotalidae, Crotalus viridis, banded rattlesnake, Western diamondback rattlesnake, prairie rattlesnake, Crotalus atrox, rattlesnake, diamondback, train, Crotalus horridus horridus, rock rattlesnake, freight train, tiger rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake



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