A loud, buzzing insect, such as a cicada n, katydid n B1, or tree cricket n.
1883 Zeigler–Grosscup Heart of Alleghanies 321 swNC, These woods were filled with insects termed “chatteracks” by the natives. Their shrill chirping toward evening is much louder than the noise of the locust, and fairly deafens the traveler. 1899 U.S. Dept. Ag. Yearbook for 1898 143, Tree crickets (Oecanthus fasciatus).—Young tree crickets are occasionally found upon tobacco. . . In portions of Maryland these little insects are known as “chatteracks,” presumably from the song of the male. 1953 in 1974 Miller News Pigeon Roost 27 Aug nwNC, It is reported that chatteracks began hollering here the first of this month. The old saying is it will frost within six weeks after they start their noise. 1956 Ibid 16 Aug, The insects, once called chatteracks, now katydids, began their noise here August 1. 1995 Adams Come Go Home 75 wNC, I can remember the sounds: the rustle of hymn books that were being used as fans, young’uns fussing and being told to hush, the hum of chatteracks outside the open, screenless windows. 1996–97 in 2004 Montgomery–Hall Dict. Smoky Mt. Engl. 122 wNC, eTN, Chatterack . . (Brown); = any small noisy insect such as a jarfly or katydid that makes a sound like “chatterack” (Oliver).