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Kits, CATS, and wives....

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1] Catcalls - Booing bad acting The expression goes back to the theater of Shakespeare's time, when men criticized the acting by making noises that sounded like a fence full of cats.

2] 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.

3] Cat's cradle - A string game played by children. In early Europe, people believed a cat could increase the chances of fertility in a young married couple. A month after the wedding, a fertility rite was performed, where a cat was secured in a cradle, and the cradle was then carried into the newlyweds' house and was then rocked back and forth. This ensured an early pregnancy. The string game creates what looks loosely like a cradle, and over time it was called a 'cat's cradle.'

4] 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.

5] Cat's meow - Something considered to be outstanding
Coined by American cartoonist Thomas a. Dorgan (1877-1929) whose work appears in many American newspapers.

6] Cat's pajamas - Something considered to be outstanding
The term "cat's pajamas" comes from E.B. Katz, an English tailor of the late 1700's and early 1800's, who made the finest silk pajamas for royalty and other wealth patrons.

7] Cat's whisker - Presumably, the wire was nicknamed as such because it looked similar to cats' whiskers. Before diodes were invented, people made a kind of diode by touching a long thin wire against a germanium crystal. This was enough to rectify a radio signal to the point where it could drive a single earpiece. The radio was a "crystal set" and the long wire was the "cat's whisker". [also meaning: outstanding -by same as 'cat's meow, above]

8] 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.

9] Cool cat - Someone who keeps up with the latest trends. The term came about in the Roaring 20's, and ita meaning hasn't changed.

10] Curiosity killed the cat - Be cautious when investigating situations. The saying originally was "care kills a cat," and began in the 16th century. "Care" was a warning that worry is bad for your health and can lead to an early grave; the phrase was a recognition that cats seem to be very cautious and careful. Over time, the word "care" evolved into "curiosity."

11] Dog my cats - An expression of astonishment, similar to "Well, what do you know!" Possibly originally coined by O.Henry (1862-1910) in his short story "Memoirs of a Yellow Dog."

12] Having kittens/had kittens/has kittens - A state of rage, similar expression to having a fit, going ballistic, losing your temper. In medieval times it was believed that if a pregnant woman was in pain, she had been cursed by a witch and had kittens inside clawing at her belly. Witches, they believed, could control cats, and could eliminate the kittens. Since a woman believing she was going to give birth to a litter of kittens would become hysterical, the phrase has, over time, come to mean being in an angry panic.

13] Like a cat on a hot tin roof - Someone with frayed nerves; jumpy. The phrase originated in Tennessee Williams' play of the same name. As then, it indicates someone who is jumpy - behaving like a cat would if they were on a hot tin roof. A similar English phrase is "Nimble as a cat on a hot bake-stone or "a cat on hot bricks," which means in a hurry to get away

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My two gifts from Bud were these below. After he took me out to dine on a fresh day's catch of shrimp for lunch on the North Shore Bay, for my birthday. I ordered them butterflied and deep fried. Bud ordered a Blackbeard's Guacamole Burger. He had me open a couple of small gifts. The one on top is to add to my collection of handblown glass dolphins. This one has a streak of red. Something I didn't have...most are blues and greens in color. Then, the other small gift was to add to another collection of mine...wind chimes. This one has cut sea shells. It gives off the most gentle sounds. Not harsh and 'clambering'...it's hard to describe...like chorus of tiny bells. In the far distance. Soft and melodious.

POSTED: Thursday, February 11th, 2010
4:10 A.M.
Cats Cradle, black and white kitty images borrowed from 'net.


  1. I hadn't heard of Dog my cat before but had heard all the other expressions. I obviously need to call on you when I'm trying to decide on Cat names for my Middlemarch Mates series. I have Catnap, Cat & Mouse, Cat Burglar, Stray Cat Strut. I'm running out :)

  2. The Cat's Pajamas is one of my favorite expressions!
    I try to use it any chance I get!
    This reminds me of one of my favorite books that I have for my classroom, "There's a Frog in my Throat". It's full of animal word expressions and is usually a favorite for my students!

  3. Good Morning Sweet Annie...
    Oh I love your "Cats" today. So cute, funny, interesting and history lesson for sure. Thank you for sharing sweetie. It always brightens my day.

    Oh you dinner looked so scrumptous. What a plate full of delight. Bud really treats you right. You two make the sweetest little couple. Your gifts are such treasures. I did not know you love dolphins, but then anything to do with the sea. You wind chimes I could hear as soon as I saw them. So very pretty. The color and the texture just looks so beautiful. Where did you hand them?

    Have a beautiful day sweetie. I have enjoyed my morning here as always. So much love to you sweetie. Country hugs and Please be my Valentine...Sherry

  4. Hello Anni,I really enjoyed your post.So funny! #2 and #10 have the same meaning in Greek!May I add "they are fighting like the dog and the cat"?

  5. I hadn't heard a couple of those cat sayings, interesting.

    I love the windchimes, my Mum collects them too and I love listening to them. Happy Birthday!

  6. Anonymous2/11/2010

    I love the cat stuff! I've never heard "dog my cats" -- I'll have to try to incorporate it into my vocab somehow. :)

  7. Good Morning Anni... Loved Loved Loved your glass dolphin & wind chimes... Great presents!!! And your cat facts were so fun to read... Have a great day my friend!

  8. such an interesting post, thks for stopping by my blog!

  9. Thanks for the interesting list. I had no idea where some of those phrases originated and found it fascinating.

  10. Very interesting these cat expressions ! Now I wonder if my cats would eat a human hand or a tongue ? Maybe if I cook it for hours ? what do you think ?

  11. I used to be amazed at and even tried to play cat's cradle when I was little, but seriously I didn't know that it was called cat's cradle. Thanks to your list now I know :)

  12. GATTINA You crack me up!!! But, I'd suggest not to even try it...Rosie or Arthur just may acquire a TASTE of your flesh and stalk you...


  13. Happy Valentine's Day! Great 'cat' expressions. :-)

  14. I live by the expression "Curiousity killed the cat" so its interesting to hear its origins. Some how it doesn't seem like it would have the same affect to substitute "care", lol. Thanks for dropping by my site. Happy TT!

  15. Good morning dear Anni:-)

    It's always so interesting to find out where certain sayings originated from. I'm sure glad my tongue and hands were never fed to the king's cats!!!! lol And you know what? I think you are the cat's meow:-)

    Ooooh I just love the dolphin and wind chimes that Bud gave you for your birthday! He sure knows you well:-) xoxo

  16. Love those pictures of you having fun in the party store! hehe I'm usually very shy so when I do something like that in public, Steve doesn't know how to handle it! ROFL!! He's usually the one that does things to get me blushing and makes me want to pretend I don't know him. lol

    I would love to one day experience Mardi Gras right there in New Orleans, people always seem to be having so much fun. I've always wondered too why they called it Fat Tuesday which I know is Mardi Gras in French...I'll accept your explanation! lol

    Love that picture you took of Bud and it really does make you wonder what he was thinking at the time. I'd love to sit down and listen to some of his navy stories!! xoxo

  17. So does #10 mean we see cats differently now?

  18. Lovely List! Happy Thursday 13 to you!

  19. I didn't realize there were so many "cat" expressions. Thanks for sharing, particularly for giving the backgrounds for each. That was fascinating! :)

  20. I bet I'd LOVE those wind chimes! I only have one, a gift from some cousins many years ago, but I love them. And I'd love to have more.

  21. Happy Birthday Annie! Just saw your card on miss Pea's site. She is so nice to do that for all of us. Hope you had a wonderful day and many more happy birthdays!

  22. #2, eww! Very interesting list.

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog.

  23. Meow....(lame ...I know)
    300 blogs visited to click on the entrecard widget.
    Thunks finally posted. Have a good one.

  24. Anonymous2/11/2010

    What a great birthday you had and those are perfect presents for you. They are just spectacular. And the lunch sounds absolutely wonderful. Great cat expressions. :) Have a wonderful day my friend :)

  25. Hi Anni! LOVE your dolphin! I have one similar in with traces of both blue and green. The red is very pretty!.. I thought I'd try my hand at "Thirteen Thursday" today.. The timing was right, I thought! It was fun! Hope other people think so too! (0; I enjoyed your thirteen cats! I had never heard of the expression "Dog my cats".. Oh, God knows I'll have it stuck in my head though, and will blurt it out, Heaven knows WHERE!! I'd love to see the looks! ~tina

  26. What a great hub. Those are great gifts.
    Your supper sure did look good also.
    I enjoy listening to the bamboo wind chimes.
    Thanks for sharing and glad you had a great birthday .

  27. Hi there Anni!

    Great post, I've learnt lots of things reading this.

    Here is my T13 :)

    Love the new Valentines look!

  28. This list is the cat's meow! I love finding out where odd phrases originated. Thanks!

  29. "Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back."


  30. Enjoyed you 'cattiness' today ;-)
    Sounds like a good birthday to me!
    Hugs and blessings,

  31. Happy,Happy Birthday to my dear friend, Anni!!!

    Sounds like you're having a good one.
    Mama Bear

  32. Your list of cats was clever and your red dolphins is pretty and unique.

    A New Old Fairy Tale

  33. Cat's Meow and Cat's Pajamas are my favorites! I'd never heard #11. It's my goal to learn something new every day.

  34. I definitely learned some new cat expressions! Can't wait to confound my husband by using them!

  35. Now this is a T13 I never would have thought of. I loved cat's cradle! Finding the perfect string :)

  36. I love my kitty cat, and love your list. My TT is up. http://collectingmythoughts.blogspot.com/2010/02/thursday-thirteen-normas-laundry-tips.html

  37. The old belief that a woman about to give birth might have kittens would be enough to push anyone over the edge.


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