Green’s Dictionary of Slang

patter n.

[patter v.]

1. [mid-18C–mid-19C] (UK Und.) a trial, verdict and sentence [the patter is that of the judge, counsel, witnesses etc, dismissed as such by the prisoner].

2. [mid-18C+] (also patter-clatter) any form of speech or speechifying, e.g. a street seller’s sales talk, a judge’s summing up.

3. [late 18C–1900s] underworld slang, cant; latterly general slang (see cites 1890, 1896).

4. [19C+] talk considered as empty chatter.

5. [late 19C] a (foreign) language.

6. [2000s] in fig. use, attitude, lifestyle.

In compounds

patter-clatter (n.)

see sense 2 above.

patter-crib (n.) [crib n.1 (6)]

[mid-19C] a criminal public or lodging house.

In phrases

flash patter (n.)

[mid-19C+] criminal slang.

in for patter

[mid-19C] facing trial.

tip the patter (v.)

[early 19C] to flatter, to ‘shoot a line’.