In the vernacular of conjurers, magicians, and prestidigitators, patter is the constant talking of the magician while he/she performs a trick.

An example of typical patter:

"Ladies and gentlemen, if you will direct your attention to the deck of cards my lovely assistant is holding, you will see that they are by no means an ordinary deck of cards, being, as they are, made of cheese. You don't believe me? Allow me to demonstrate..."

and so on and so forth.

As well as keeping the audience entertained (patter usually being full of jokes), the purpose of patter is to distract the audience from whatever the magician is doing with his/her other hand.

Pat"ter (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Pattered (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Pattering.] [Freq. of pat to strike gently.]

1.

To strike with a quick succession of slight, sharp sounds; as, pattering rain or hail; pattering feet.

The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard.
Thomson.

2.

To mutter; to mumble; as, to patter with the lips. Tyndale. [In this sense, and in the following, perh. from paternoster.]

3.

To talk glibly; to chatter; to harangue. [Colloq.]

I've gone out and pattered to get money.
Mayhew.

 

© Webster 1913


Pat"ter, v. t.

1.

To spatter; to sprinkle. [R.] "And patter the water about the boat." J. R. Drake.

2. [See Patter, v. i., 2.]

To mutter; as prayers.

[The hooded clouds] patter their doleful prayers.
Longfellow.

To patter flash, to talk in thieves' cant. [Slang]

 

© Webster 1913


Pat"ter, n.

1.

A quick succession of slight sounds; as, the patter of rain; the patter of little feet.

2.

Glib and rapid speech; a voluble harangue.

3.

The cant of a class; patois; as, thieves's patter; gypsies' patter.

 

© Webster 1913


Pat"ter, n.

The language or oratory of a street peddler, conjurer, or the like, hence, glib talk; a voluble harangue; mere talk; chatter; also, specif., rapid speech, esp. as sometimes introduced in songs. [Cant or Colloq.]

 

© Webster 1913

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