Wednesday, September 4

Cats and English

Nowadays, cats are a big part of every family’s life. It has been reported that there are over 500 million pet cats in the world.

These furry creatures are graceful, playful, cute, and cold all at the same time. And nobody can resist their unique charm.

image courtesy of stock.xchng

The truth is, cats have been with us (as man’s second best friend) for a long time. Everyone knows the royal history of cats in ancient Egypt. But there is proof that man's history with cats extends to even earlier than that, in the island of Cyprus, over 4, 000 years before the Egyptians.

With the long shared history between humans and cats, it isn’t surprising that these animals have entered our language. There are many expressions in English that mention or directly have cats in them.

Here are a few Cat Expressions...

Cat Vocabulary

1. She’s a copycat.

= someone who imitates or copies another person or another person’s work.

2. The police have arrested a cat burglar.

= a skillful, silent, and sneaky thief

3. I’m gonna take a cat nap.

= a short sleep during the day.

4. Cat calls could be heard inside the stadium.

= booing against bad acting

5. He is a sourpuss.

= someone who is easily irritated or annoyed

6. She is a hellcat.

= a bad-tempered woman

7. She is a glamour puss.

= a glamorous lady

8. Dead cat bounce

= (a Wall Street term) an automatic recovery in the financial market

9. The model is walking on the catwalk.

= a narrow walkway

10. He is a tomcat.

= a man who enjoys the favors of many women

Cat Idioms or Idiomatic Expressions

1. He / she looks like the cat that ate the canary.

= He / she looks very proud or satisfied with himself / herself.

2. Look what the cat dragged in.

= This is a slightly insulting comment that someone can make when another person arrives.

3. It is the cat’s meow / the cat’s pajamas / the cat’s whiskers (US)

= It is the best / It is outstanding.

4. He’s a scaredy cat / fraidy cat.

= (A child’s expression) He is easily afraid.

5. The cat is out of the bag.

= Somebody told people about something that was supposed to be a secret.

6. Has the cat got your tongue?

= Why can’t you speak or answer my question?

7. Curiosity killed the cat.

= Be careful. If you are too concerned about things that are not your business, you might get in trouble.

8. There isn’t enough room to swing a cat.

= The space is very small.

9. It is like herding cats.

= The task is very difficult or impossible.

10. She is like a cat on a hot tin roof (US). / She is like a cat on hot bricks (UK).

= She is very anxious.

11. He is a fat cat.

= He is rich.

12. It’s raining cats and dogs.

= It’s raining very hard.

13. She’s a bag of cats this morning.

= She’s bad-tempered.

14. She is as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

= She is very nervous.

15. He and his sister are cat-and-dog.

= He and she are always fighting.

16. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

= There’s more than one way to do a task.

17. I’ll see which way the cat jumps.

= I’ll wait and see what happens.

18. Quit pussyfooting around! Get on with it!

= Stop moving shyly or carefully.

19. He’s as honest as the cat when the meat’s out of reach.

= He will not steal when he’s likely to be caught.

20. He is grinning like a Cheshire cat.

= (This expression is from Lewis Carol’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) He is showing a silly grin.

Copyright Disney Pictures

Cat Proverbs and Sayings

1. When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

= People misbehave when there is no one to supervise them.

2. A cat in gloves catches no mice.

= Sometimes you can’t accomplish a goal by being too polite or careful.

3. All cats are gray in the dark.

= Every person is the same as any another until they have become successful and well-known.

4. The cat may look at a king.

= (this is a disrespectful remark to an older or more powerful person) 
I am as good as you.

5. Keep no more cats than will catch mice.

= Don’t surround yourself with people who will be dependent on you.

Hope You Learned Something!

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