Top Definition
The phrase originated from the old English nursery rhyme, "This old man". Nick nack or "knick knack" refers to the sound produced when playing the bones, as a musical instrument that later evolved into using metal spoons held loosely between the finger and stroked across a board, a shoe or most commonly the fingers of the opposite hand.

Each verse refers to the common practice in Ireland of of after a feast of lamb or swine, taking the rib bones and fashioning them into a musical instrument, using it as a rhythmic instrument of an impromptu band that might also include a lute and singers.

Paddywhack has several meaning and it is unclear which meaning the nursery rhyme intended. One definition is the tough elastic ligament found in many four legged animals such as a lamb that holds the head up. It was often eaten but is tough and may have been fed to the farm dog and referred to as as a bone. I tend to think it was referring to this definition and think the entire line in the nursery rhyme means that after playing the bones and singing songs after the meal, that the bones and paddywhack was given to the family dog to eat.
nick nack paddy wack

This old man, he played one,
He played knick-knack on my thumb;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played two,
He played knick-knack on my shoe;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played three,
He played knick-knack on my knee;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played four,
He played knick-knack on my door;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played five,
He played knick-knack on my hive;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.
by HoPpeR1492 April 05, 2016
It has been deduced that this song is referring to the killing of a police officer.

'Paddy' is a slang term for a police officer, and 'whack' is slang for murder.

The sound 'nick nack' is obviously reproduced from a mechanical weapon such as a catapult, trebuchet, or large crossbow.

Therefore it is a term for the murder of a police officer using a mechanical weapon.
Did you cover up your tracks on that nick nack paddy wack?
by John Anonymouse July 20, 2013
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