Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Word Wednesday 1: Cat, Catty

When I think of the word "cat", I think of the nice, soft, furry house pet that makes soft purring noises, scratches up the couch, makes itself at home on the kitchen counter, and generally exists with an air of superiority. I have two cats, and they bring endless enjoyment to the household. As words go, however, "cat" is really not so exciting.

Cat: 1) small domesticated carniverous mammal with soft fur, a short snout, and retractile claws; wild animal including lion, tiger, leopard, ect... 2)a malicious or spiteful woman 3)a catalytic converter 4)a catamaran

The words that are a bit more interesting, and give a little more creative wiggle room are the words that begin with cat, or the phrases associated with the word cat. However, these really have nothing to do with the sweet, furry animal purring on your lap.

Let the cat out of the bag: reveal a secret carelessly or by mistake Cat on a hot tin roof: very agitated or anxious
Put the cat among the pigeions: say or do something likely to cause trouble or controversy
See which way the cat jumps: see what directions events are taking before committing oneself
catburglar: a thief who enters a building by climbing to an upper storey
catcall: a shrill whistle of mockery or disapproval
cathouse: a brothel
cat ladder: a ladder used for working on a sloping roof, with a hook at one end
catlick: a perfunctory wash
catnap: a short sleep during the day
catsuit: a woman's close-fitting one-piece garment
catty: spiteful; or relating to cats

I wonder if a catburglar ever employed the use of a cat ladder to effecuate his escape? Probably not a cat's chance in... I've never even seen such a contraption as a cat ladder!

If you are searching the web for such a device, you must search for "roof cat ladder", and you will find this:











If you just search for "cat ladder", you will find this:





You may find one of these, or at least the connection to the person who created this marvel at http://www.cat-world.com.au/forums/index.php?showtopic=29449.



Where might one hear catcalls? Brothel/cathouse? When looking for a fun evening on the town, one might choose to have a catnap, then a quick catlick, don the catsuit, call up one's catty friends, and see which way the cat jumps!

Now I'm off to put the cat among the pigeons...

1 comment:

Splendid Little Stars said...

enjoyed this post! I think the origins of words and phrases are very interesting.