Are you a cat lover? Or maybe you’re more of a dog person? Whether cats or dogs, people love their pets. The English language also loves them, as there are tons of expressions about both. In this post, we’ll learn some English sayings and idioms about cats. I have chosen just five idioms involving cats other idioms would be posted very soon.
#1 Curiosity killed the cat
Literal meaning: The origin of this idiom isn’t very clear, but the basic idea is that if you’re a cat who is too curious you may end up in a lot of trouble, e.g. chasing a bird too far up a tree or a rat too far down a drain, and the cat could be killed as a result.
#2 Look what the cat dragged in
Literal meaning: This idiom refers to the way domestic cats will often go out and kill wild animals and then bring them back into the house for you to see.
Other forms: Look what the cat’s dragged in; Look what the cat’s brought in.
And also “to look like something the cat dragged in” meaning to have a very dirty, untidy or abused appearance. Looking like something the cat dragged in is not the way to arrive at a job interview.
This expression alludes to a cat’s bringing home birds or mice it has killed or savaged. Go shower and get changed, you look like something the cat dragged in!
#3 Has a cat got your tongue?
Literal meaning: This idiom apparently began being used by children back in the late 1800s with no sensible derivation known. It’s not hard to imagine this sort of expression being used in children’s language in the school playground and it’s often said by adults to children.
Anyone who has ever struggled to speak or express them-self will be able to relate to the idiom “Has the cat got your tongue.” Believe it or not, the cat gets my tongue every time she passes by. 🙂
#4 Let the cat out of the bag
#5 No room to swing a cat
Literal meaning: The origin is uncertain, whether it refers to actually swinging a cat in a room by its tail or is referring to the ‘cat o’ nine tails’ whip used by the navy to discipline officers. The expression dates back to 1665, which predates the first mention in writing of the ‘cat o’ nine tails’ by three decades.
That’s all for now, be sure to keep checking our blog for more idioms in the future! Know any clever animal idioms? We’d love to read them in the comments.
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