The common rat (e.g. Rattus norvegicus) builds its nest out of any handy
material such as twigs, grass, or leaves. The result has a chaotic, jumbled
appearance. It is just another quirky Anglicism to say that something looks
like a "rat's nest". 

This all started back when printed circuits were done with tape and donuts
on mylar sheets--the "rat's nest" was an actual pictorial drawing showing
the placement and the connections drawn as straight lines between pins. The
nickname and the idea stuck and carried over into CAD systems. 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jörg Guttmann [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> Sent: Friday, February 08, 2002 05:07
> To: Protel EDA Forum
> Subject: [PEDA] terminology: ratsnest
> 
> 
> Why is the set of unrouted connections called "ratsnets"?
> 
> I didn't find the word in the Langenscheidts english - german 
> dictionnary.
> This seems to be one of  the english words that everybody is
> using and nobody knows the real meaning.
> 
> 
> Dipl. Ing. J rg Guttmann
> eMail: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> ===================================================
> Visit our Web Site:   http://www.imar-navigation.de
> ===================================================
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> Gesellschaft f r inertiale Mess-, Automatisierungs- und Regelsysteme
> Systems for Inertial Measuring, Automation and Control
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