View Full Version : Cat-ch phrases

01-24-2001, 01:28 PM
Thought it would be interesting to start a topic like this to share everything funny that is 'cat'. Particularly different phrases such as...
As nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs - Someone with frayed nerves; jumpy
The allusion, of course, is to the fact that cats don't like having their tails tromped upon. Where the phrase originated is unknown.

I have so many of these that I just have to share... http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

01-24-2001, 04:10 PM
How about "curiosity killed the cat". I remind my daughter of that frequently! LOL! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

01-24-2001, 04:47 PM
Look what the cat dragged in! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif

01-24-2001, 04:52 PM
Curiosity killed the cat......but satisfaction brought it back!
Love Borris, who knows.

01-24-2001, 06:07 PM
Cat got your tongue - Why aren't you talking?
The phrase probably comes from a custom in the Mideast hundreds of years ago, when it was common to punish a thief by cutting off their right hand, and a liar by ripping out their tongue. These severed body parts were given to the king's pet cats as their daily food. Wierd, huh? http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

01-24-2001, 08:33 PM
And of course we can't forget a "cat nap!"

- - - - - - - - - - - -
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.

Albert Schweitzer

4 feline house
01-24-2001, 09:04 PM
I'll have to let the cat out of the bag - one of my sister-in-law's favorite expressions is "red as a cat's butt".

01-24-2001, 10:36 PM
...and "playing cat and mouse"...

01-25-2001, 12:05 PM
I don't think I've heard the "red as a cat's butt" phrase. That is too funny! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif What does it refer too?
Here's another popular one:
It's raining cats and dogs - It's raining very hard
The dog, an attendant of the storm king Odin, was a symbol of wind. Cats came to symbolize down-pouring rain, and dogs to symbolize strong gusts of wind. A very heavy storm, therefore, indicated that both cats and dogs were involved. Another explanation is that the phrase came about in early 17th-century London, when cats hunted mice on the rooftops - during a rainstorm, the cats were washed off the roofs and fell on passersby.

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

01-25-2001, 02:15 PM
Wolflady I am enjoying finding out where all of these sayings came from. Here's another one....."Cat Burglar." Just watching a cat stalk anything sort of gives you a clue here (stealthy, quiet and quick!)

01-25-2001, 04:55 PM
Thanks Pam:-) I'm having a lot of fun with this! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif
Here's another:
Cat o'nine tails - A whip
In olden days, people were flogged by a nasty device made up of three separate knottings of three stands attached to the whip's handle. While the strands may have been made from the hide of cats, the multiple of 9 had already been associated with cats; presumably if a person being flogged survived, they were as lucky as a cat with 9 lives. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

4 feline house
01-26-2001, 10:13 PM
She never explained what "red as a cat's butt" meant when I asked her! But knowing my sister-in-law, she wasn't referring to the general rear end of the cat, she was referring to the you-know-what, which I guess on a white or light-colored cat can look red! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/redface.gif http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/confused.gif http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by 4 feline house (edited January 26, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by 4 feline house (edited January 26, 2001).]

01-26-2001, 10:28 PM
Can't forget "She was the cat's meow!" Does cat-astrophe count?

01-27-2001, 01:11 AM
This site is just the "cat's pajama's."


01-27-2001, 10:37 AM
Wolflady.....please do tell us where "cat gut" came from. It sure conjures up awful images in my head! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

01-27-2001, 02:22 PM
I have never understood why unkind gossip is described as being "catty." Whatcha think?

4 feline house
01-28-2001, 11:44 AM
In the cat bird seat - being in an advantageous position

Harder than herding cats - an impossible task

Pam - unfortunately, 'cat gut' is exactly what it says it is - intestines of cats - but I don't think it's used any more, it has been replaced by synthetic materials for most, and hopefully all, purposes in the last few decades, although the replacements are often still called 'cat gut'.

01-28-2001, 04:56 PM
I saw this expression (reportedly originating from Texas) from the MSN Pets bulletin board:

As busy as a cat covering poop on a marble floor.

(I was chuckling to myself all day the first time I read this because I kept imagining the visual!)

01-28-2001, 05:46 PM
The expression "catty" is more to do with the hissing and spitting associated with two cats fighting...SOME people liken it to two women fighting. The term "hissy fit" is also derived from cat fighting http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

01-29-2001, 02:54 PM
Some of these phrases are just so funny http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif I hadn't heard the marble floor phrase before either. It had me chuckling.
Cat's Pajamas is an interesting one, thought you would like to know where that came from:
Cat's pajamas / Cat's meow / Cat's whiskers - Something considered to be outstanding
Coined by American cartoonist Thomas a. Dorgan (1877-1929) whose work appears in many American newspapers.

Another view for
Catgut - What tennis rackets and violin strings are made of
The word came about when the German word "kitgut" was translated into other languages. Kitgut was a small fiddle. The folk tale "cat and the fiddle" probably has something to do with the translation as well.

As far as Catty remarks - Comments made by a woman, usually about another woman
The phrase came about when a man named Heywood, in the middle 1500's wrote "A woman hath nine lives like a cat." Soon, a woman who gossiped about other women was said to be making "catty" remarks about them.

Troy, I liked your point about hissy fit! So true!

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

01-29-2001, 02:58 PM
Here's a new one for the day...
A cat in gloves catches no mice - Sometimes you can't accomplish a goal by being careful and polite.
An idiom attributed to Ben Franklin in Poor Richard's Almanac http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/cool.gif

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

01-30-2001, 03:32 PM
Here's the phrase for the day:

Cat's foot - To live under the cat's foot is to allow someone to control you.
Phrase was coined in reference to the "toying" behavior of a cat with a mouse or other "toy."

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

01-31-2001, 01:19 PM
The phrase for Jan 31st:

Cat's Paw - To be labeled a "cat's paw" means someone has taken advantage of you and you weren't smart enough to "cat"ch on.
The phrase has its origins in an old folk tale in which a clever monkey tricks a cat into reaching into a fireplace to pull out some roasting chestnuts. The monkey got the chestnuts, but the cat got burned.

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

01-31-2001, 01:24 PM
Can anyone explain why the runway that fashion models walk down is sometimes called a "catwalk"? Is it because the models walk like cats along the runway?

01-31-2001, 06:43 PM
Sure! Catwalk - A narrow walkway
Termed as such because of a cat's ability to balance in very narrow places

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

4 feline house
02-02-2001, 09:50 PM
Cat's eye - gemstone (chrysoberyl)
Cat's cradle - a string game, comes from corruption of cratchcradle, Old French for manger
Looking like the cat that swallowed the canary - looking guilty
Cat call - a loud, disapproving cry from a member of a crowd or audience
Like a cat on a hot tin roof - a very busy person
There's more than one way to skin a cat (a phrase I've always hated) - there's more than one method available
Fat cat - a wealthy, powerful person
Not enough room to swing a cat - a crowded situation

[This message has been edited by 4 feline house (edited February 02, 2001).]

02-03-2001, 08:07 AM
Cat's Eye...also is a name given to the small circular shell that some shellfish make to cover their shell opening. You can sometimes find them on the beaches; they are dome shaped with a small swirly pattern on the flat side and they are about 1cm in diameter. In the 70's it was popular to cover empty glass bottles by glueing them on http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/cool.gif

02-03-2001, 09:02 AM
"fraidy cat or scaredy cat?" can't forget those! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/tongue.gif

02-03-2001, 09:32 AM
A leopard cannot change its spots (Does that one count?)

The cat that swallowed the canary http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif

As brave as a lion

As nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif

As playful as a kitten

Enough to make a cat laugh http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/tongue.gif

Sour puss

Let the cat out of the bag

Like a cat on a hot tin roof http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif

When the cat's away the mice will play

Look what the cat dragged in http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/tongue.gif

Peeping Tom http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif

Raining cats and dogs

Smiling like a Cheshire cat http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

thought of some more...hope none were already listed.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails, Explore, Dream.
-Mark Twain

02-03-2001, 12:22 PM
whoops the rocking chair one was the first one from wolflady... sorry about that silly me http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/wink.gif

02-13-2001, 01:10 PM
If it's the same...uh...catsuit that I'm thinking of...it probably got its name because of it's sleek and seductive look... http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

Here are some more phrases...
Another breed of cat - something different from anything else

Someone mentioned Catcalls - Booing bad acting
The expression goes back to the theatre of Shakespear's time, when men criticized the acting by making noises that sounded like a fence full of cats.

That kind of goes along with Caterwauling / cat's melody - Making harsh noises or cries
Probably came from Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night: “What a caterwauling do you keep here!”

Cat's eye (was also mentioned) - Precious or semi-precious gems that have a changing luster; also road markers which reflect car lights (invented by Englishman Percy Shaw)
Refers to the coloring similar to a cat's and to the reflecting of light in a cat's eyes

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

02-16-2001, 04:42 AM
How about a cat-frontation, a cat fight!


The cat who got the cream, looking pleased with yourself http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by Martin (edited February 16, 2001).]