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

 Rat.Rat (Un). 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Rat (To).
To forsake a losing side for the stronger party. It is said that rats forsake ships not weatherproof. A rat is one who rats or deserts his party. Hence workmen who work during a strike are called “rats.”   1
“Averting …
The cup of sorrow from their lips,
And fly like rats from sinking ships.”
Swift: Epistle to Mr. Nugent.

 Rat.Rat (Un). 


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