Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Rat (Un).

 Rat (To).Rat, Cat, and Dog. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Rat (Un).
A purse. Hence, a young boy thief is called a Raton. A sort of pun on the word rapt from the Latin rapto, to carry off forcibly. Courir le rat, to rob or break into a house at night-time.   1
   To take a rat by the tail, or Prendre un rat par la queue, is to cut a purse. A phrase dating back to the age of Louis XIII., and inserted in Cotgrave’s Dictionary. Of course, a cutpurse would cut the purse at the string or else he would spill the contents.   2

 Rat (To).Rat, Cat, and Dog. 


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