If no one else has patted you on the back for your discipline and sacrifice, allow me to be the first.
And he said hi back and smiled and sort of patted the baby on the head and everything.
His cousin, Marwa, 24, patted his shoulder and insisted that the two go over a few more math problems.
Valle sat and Gatto patted his shoulder reassuringly, as she often had during the trial.
The conversation turned to my upcoming wedding and she actually reached over and patted my stomach!
Brooke patted her on the back,—not in the flesh but in the spirit,—and told her that she was quite right.
He picked Jim's hat off the floor and patted it softly as he hung it up.
He patted him on the head, and looked down compassionately into the tear-stained face.
"How are——" He hesitated, but she knew just what he meant, and patted his arm gratefully.
I petted him and patted him; I stroked his ears and I rubbed his nose; and then I asked him point blank what ailed him.
c.1400, "a blow, stroke," perhaps originally imitative of the sound of patting. Meaning "light tap with hand" is from c.1804. Sense of "that which is formed by patting" (as in pat of butter) is 1754, probably from the verb. Pat on the back in the figurative sense attested by 1804.
"aptly, suitably, at the right time," 1570s, perhaps from pat (adj.) in sense of "that which hits the mark," a special use from pat (n.) in sense of "a hitting" of the mark. The modern adjective is 1630s, from the adverb.
1560s, "to hit, throw;" meaning "to tap or strike lightly" is from 1714; from pat (n.). Related: Patted; patting. The nursery rhyme phrase pat-a-cake is known from 1823. Alternative patty-cake (usually American English) is attested from 1794 (in "Mother Goose's Melody, or Sonnets for the Cradle," Worcester, Mass.).