Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)
About this entry:
First published 1968 (SND Vol. VII). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
†RATT, n. Also rat; rot. A file of soldiers, a company; in hist. phr. the Town Rat(t)s, the name given to the soldiers of the City Guard in Edinburgh (Edb. 1808 Jam.). See also s.v. Ratton.Sc. 1821 Blackwood's Mag. (Oct.) 306:
The Lord Provost presided, a band of music attended and the worthy town-rots (soldiers of the City-Guard) attended outside the door, and at every toast fired a volley.Edb. 1825 R. Chambers Traditions II. 151:
The Town Rats, who might peep forth like old cautious snails, on hearing his drum, would draw in their horns with a Gaelic execration, and shut their door as he approached.Sc. 1859 J. Maidment Sc. Ballads 220:
A party of the City Guard, commonly called the Town Rats, accompanied the Magistrates when they went to proclaim the Fair.
You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.
"Ratt n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 Sep 2022 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/ratt>