Special Sub-Topic: Cat-ch Phrases
|A "cat burglar" is defined as someone who steals cats.|
f. A cat burglar is defined by the "Encarta World English Dictionary" as: "A burglar who, using stealth and agility, breaks into properties, especially through high windows or small openings." So, based on this, a cat burglar is much like a cat in the sense of being quick, yet in a sneaky quiet-like manner, which could be said to be to a successful burglar's benefit.
|A person who might be said to be toying with another, usually in a cruel-like manner, could be referred to as playing what kind of game with them?|
cat and mouse. I couldn't find any origin stats on this phrase, however, it is a phrase found in dictionaries everywhere. A couple of other definitions I found for this phrase include:
"Also called 'cat and rat'; a children's game in which a circle keeps a player from moving into or out of the circle and permits a second player to move into or out of the circle to escape the pursuing first player." ~ Infoplease Dictionary.
"Of or involving a suspenseful and sometimes alternating relation between hunter and hunted. Another cat-and-mouse thriller (New York Times)." ~ From both Dictionary.com and The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.
|Of the following, which best describes someone who might be asked the cat-ch phrase question of "cat got your tongue?"|
Someone who is shy and/or speechless. This was a difficult phrase to find any definite origin information about. What I found that might best explain this phrase is the following:
"There's no particular logic to 'cat got your tongue' except that cats have served as the object of human myth and metaphor for thousands of years. No sooner did the first caveperson open the door to a yowling cat than people began concocting stories about cats. The black ones bring bad luck. They have nine lives. They suck out your breath while you're sleeping. They make those mysterious long distance calls that show up on your phone bill. The most surprising thing about 'cat got your tongue' may be its relatively recent vintage. While it certainly sounds as if it must have been dreamt up back in the Middle Ages, the earliest written example listed in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1911."
|A person who is financially rich might be called what?|
fat cat. This is another phrase that was quite difficult to find any information on other than its definition. The "Encarta World English Dictionary" lists several different meanings for both of the separate words of "fat" and "cat." One of the definitions given for fat is: "Amounts that are surplus to what is needed or wanted." And, one of the definitions given for cat is: "A man (slang term); He's a real cool cat." So then, based on these particular meanings, I personally, therefore, have concluded and theorize myself that when combining the two, they can make for pretty basic logical reasoning of the phrase "fat cat." Hence, being one who is of human kind with more surplus of something than what they could ever possibly need or want.
|If someone were said to have let the cat out of the bag, then what is it they have really done?|
revealed a secret. During my research on the origin of this phrase, I found most sites to be in agreement with its origin, which is this:
"At medieval markets, unscrupulous traders would display a pig for sale. The trader would then hand the customer a bag containing something that wriggled, but with strict instructions not to open the bag until they were home lest it get away. It was only later that the buyer would find he'd been conned when he opened the bag to reveal that it contained a cat and not a pig. Hence, 'letting the cat out of the bag' revealed the secret of the con trick."
Though many sites state this same origin, this particular quote was taken from:
|What is another way of describing a light sleep of short duration? (Remember theme of quiz here).|
catnap & cat nap. The "Encarta World English Dictionary" states 'catnap' as being called such because it stems: "From a cat's habit of sleeping lightly during the day."
|When it's pouring down rain outside, sometimes people will use the phrase, "It's raining cats and mice!"|
f. The phrase I'm referring to here is that of "It's raining cats and dogs!" There seem to be several different theories to the origin of this phrase, so I'll just list a few that I found:
"While the bubonic plague or the Black Death was running rampant in London, humans were apparently not the only victims of it, for both cats and dogs were also dying in the streets. After a particular heavy rain, the street gutters were awash in the bodies of cats and dogs, hence the term."
"Another theory suggests that thunder and lightning represent a cat and dog fight. Yet another traces the origin to ideas in ancient mythology that cats could influence the weather, and that dogs were a symbol of the wind."
|Someone with a "cat-o'-nine-tails" actually has what?|
a whip. "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition" list a "cat-o'-nine-tails" as being: "A whip consisting of nine knotted cords fastened to a handle, used in flogging." It also lists its etymology as being: "So called because it leaves marks like the scratches of a cat."
|The cat-ch phrase of "See which way the cat jumps" could be translated into "Wait to see what happens?"|
t. The following two quotes on the origin possibilities of this phrase were taken from "E. Cobham Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898:"
"See how the cat jumps, 'which way the wind blows'; which of two alternatives is likely to be the successful one before you give any opinion of its merit or adhesion to it, either moral or otherwise. The allusion is to the game called tip-cat. Before you strike, you must observe which way the 'cat' has jumped up."
"We are told that our forefathers had a cruel sport, which consisted in placing a cat in a tree as a mark to shoot at. A wily sportsman would, of course, wait to see which way it jumped before he shot at her. This sort of sport was very like that of hanging two cats by their tails over a rope."
|Someone who seems very nervous, jumpy, or uneasy might often be compared to being like a cat in this cat-chy phrase.|
Like a cat on a hot tin roof. The only information I could find on this phrase is that of it being a play by Tennessee Williams. I couldn't find any other origin stats besides its being linked to this play. From my research, I found that Tennessee Williams, born Thomas Lanier Williams, earned his second Pulitzer Prize award for this play in 1955 (his first was for "A Streetcar Named Desire" in 1948), and that it was made into a film in 1958. The plot is said to be about a Southern woman who is suffering in her own home due to the depressive nature of her surroundings and a marriage which lacks desire and/or satisfaction.
Recent research at arts.ucsc.edu/GDead/AGDL/gone.html, states this phrase as an old English Proverbial saying that was first collected by John Ray in 1670 in his "English Proverbs." It also says that the phrase originally referred to the phrases of "like a cat on hot bricks" and "like a cat upon a hot bake stone.
|If someone is looking a bit ragged, tired, or disheveled, one might then refer to them as looking like something the ___________________. (Your answer should not require any punctuation.)|
cat dragged in & cat drug in & cat brought in. I searched and searched, and couldn't find anything origin-wise related to this phrase except for maybe one's opinion. I personally think the phrase speaks for itself, in that, when a cat may come pouncing along with its dead kill (per se) looking rather...well... dead, then that would compliment the definition most consider this phrase to mean.
(Just an added personal info bit here: My all-time favorite band, Poison, has a song by the name "Look What the Cat Dragged In" from their 1986 debut album of the same name.)
|"A person used by another as a dupe or tool," is called what?|
cat's paw. Definition above is from "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition," which also states the etymology of this phrase as being: "From a fable about a monkey that used a cat's paw to pull chestnuts out of a fire."
|Somebody or something which is held or considered to be very special could be defined by which one of the following cat-ch phrases?|
all of these (cat's meow, cat's pajamas, cat's whiskers). The "Encarta World English Dictionary" states all three of these phrases as having the same meaning with the "cat's whiskers" being the U.K. term for it. Other than that, I again couldn't find any origin stats for these phrases either.
|This cat-ch phrase is defined as "a game in which a loop of string is threaded between the fingers of both hands in variable complex patterns". Also, if you add the words "in the" in-between the two words of the phrase, it then becomes the name of a well-known Harry Chapin song. Which phrase am I looking for here?|
cat's cradle. The definition above was taken from the "Encarta World English Dictionary," which also states the origin of the phrase as this: "Origin uncertain: perhaps an alteration of 'cratch cradle,' the manger in which the infant Jesus Christ was laid, from an alteration of French 'creche'."
The Harry Chapin song I was referring to in the question is that of "Cat's in the Cradle." His wife is said to have been the one who wrote the lyrics to the song as a poem for their son, due to Harry not being around enough after his birth. The song hit it big, reaching #1 on the Billboard charts in December of 1974, and earning Harry a Grammy nomination for "Best Song" as well. Other artists who have since covered this song that I'm aware of include Judy Collins, Johnny Cash, Ugly Kid Joe, and Ricky Skaggs.
|The Cowardly Lion from the movie "The Wizard of Oz" could be classified as this particular cat-ch phrase.|
fraidy-cat. Fraidy-cat, which is also termed scaredy-cat, is defined from numerous dictionary sources as one who is fearful or lacks courage. The "Encarta World English Dictionary" also states this information bit about fraidy-cat: "Fraidy formed from a shortening of afraid. Cat perhaps from that animal's generally skittish nature."
Well, that's all the cat-ch phrases I have for you, I hope you found this quiz fun and enjoyable for I had lots of fun making it. Thanks for playing. :)
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