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Word of the Day
Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Definitions for tattoo

  1. A rapid, rhythmic drumming or rapping.
  2. A beat of a drum, or sound of a trumpet or bugle, giving notice to soldiers to go to their quarters at night.
  3. A display of military exercises given as evening entertainment.

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Citations for tattoo
Joss blew out her breath, stamped her feet in a short tattoo, and sat jiggling one leg. John Casey, The Half-life of Happiness
There are more golf courses per person in Naples than anywhere else in the world, and in spite of the hot, angry weather everyone around the hotel was dressed to play, their cleated shoes tapping out a clickety-clickety-clickety tattoo on the sidewalks. Susan Orlean, The Orchid Thief
Origin of tattoo
1570-1580
Tattoo is an alteration of earlier taptoo, from Dutch taptoe, "a tap(house)-shut," from tap, "faucet" + toe, "shut" -- meaning, essentially, that the tavern is about to shut.