Wednesday, June 19, 2024

What Does Cat Got Your Tongue Mean

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Like The Cat That Ate The Canary

idioms 101 – cat got your tongue?

If you’ve ever had the satisfaction of completing a challenging task or winning a terrific prize, then chances are you’ve had this look on your face! Cats are stealth hunters, as noted above, and “getting the canary” is the feline equivalent to getting a big raise or award. Conversely, this phrase also can mean you’re guilty of acquiring something that isn’t yours. “The cat that got the cream,” one of several common cat sayings in England, essentially means the same thing.

Examples Of Cat Got Your Tongue

In this example, two sisters are cleaning out one of their closets.

Amy: Thanks for helping me clean out my closet and get rid of some of my old clothes.

Kimberly: No problem. Im happy to help!

Amy: I guess I can get rid of this dress and these pants.

Kimberly: Hey! Whats that?

Amy: What?

Kimberly: That sweater behind all your other clothes. Is that my favorite blue sweater that Ive been missing for months?


Kimberly: Did you steal my sweater?


Kimberly: Whats the matter? Cat got your tongue? Tell me why you have my missing sweater in your closet!

In the second example, two friends are discussing some art that one of them made.

Keira: This is the painting Ive been working on for the last year. It is my masterpiece. What do you think of it?

Rory: Oh

Keira: Whats wrong? Cat got your tongue?

Rory: NoIts just

Keira: You hate it, dont you?

Curiosity Killed The Cat

It’s common knowledge that kitties are curious creatures. This instinctive but somewhat hazardous behavior can get the best of them if they aren’t careful, and therein lies the root of this cat saying. Don’t ask too many questions, or you’ll regret what you discover. Renaissance playwrights, including Shakespeare, used this phrase at the end of the sixteenth century, albeit in the form of “care killed the cat,” as it also appears in Brewer’s 1898 Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, according to Bartleby.

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What’s The Origin Of The Phrase ‘cat Got Your Tongue’

The origin of the phrase ‘has the cat got your tongue?’ isn’t known. What is certain is that it isn’t derived as a reference to the cat o’ nine tails or people’s tongues being fed to cats in ancient Egypt. Both of these have been suggested and there’s no shred of evidence to support either of them.

‘Cat got your tongue?’ is the shortened form of the query ‘Has the cat got your tongue?’ and it is the short form that is more often used. It is somewhat archaic now but was in common use until the 1960/70s. It was directed at anyone who was quiet when they were expected to speak, and often to children who were being suspiciously unobtrusive.

There’s no derivation that involves any actual cat or celebrated incident of feline theft. Like the blackbird that ‘pecked off his nose’, the phrase is just an example of the light-hearted imagery that is, or was, directed at children.

The expression sounds as though it might be old but isn’t especially so. I can find no instances of it in print until the mid 19th century, as in this example from the Wisconsin newspaper The Racine Democrat, December 1859:

“How I love a rainy day!” he said.To this I made no answer. I loved a rainy day too, but I was not disposed to say so just then.”Oh ho! The cat got your tongue has it?” was his next remark.:

When The Cats Away The Mice Will Play

Cat got your tongue? Woodward English

Meaning: when an authority figure is away, those under them enjoy some freedom

Italian: Quando il gatto non cè, i topi ballano

Translation: when the cats not here, the mice dance

German: Wenn die Katze aus dem Haus ist, tanzen die Mäuse auf dem Tisch

Translation: when the cats out of the house, the mice dance on the table

Croatian: Kad make nema, mievi vode kolo

Translation: when the cats gone, the mice lead the kolo

Meaning: when the boss is away, someone under them calls the shots

The kolo is a traditional Balkan dance popular at weddings and other social gatherings. It involves a large group of people dancing in a circle while holding hands. One person tends to lead the dance.

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Origins Of 6 Common Cat Sayings


Variations of common cat sayings have existed in some form of English for hundreds of years, but how, exactly, and when, did these phrases make their way into modern, everyday vernacular?

Cats were domesticated thousands of years ago, and their coexistence has ranged from employee to beloved house pet. Most cat idioms are rooted in relatively modern history, going back mere hundreds of years instead of thousands. And some, such as a cat having nine lives or believing that if a black cat crosses your path, it’s bad luck, are more folklore myths than cat phrases.

Kitties of all sizes and temperaments have eased their way into daily life, thus working their way into our conversations, too! Here are six common cat sayings.

Where Did The Phrase Cat Got Your Tongue Originate

Cat got your tongue? Origin: The English Navy used to use a whip called Cat-o-nine-tails for flogging. The pain was so severe that it caused the victim to stay quiet for a long time. Another possible source could be from ancient Egypt, where liars and blasphemers tongues were cut out and fed to the cats.

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Dont Throw The Baby Out With The Bathwater

Meaning: Dont get rid of valuable things along with the unnecessary ones.

Origin: You wont believe this one! In the early 1500s, people only bathed once a year. Not only that, but they also bathed in the same water without changing it! The adult males would bath first, then the females, leaving the children and babies to go last. By the time the babies got in, the water was clouded with filth. The poor mothers had to take extra care that their babies were not thrown out with the bathwater.

Cat Got Your Tongue What Is Its Origin And Meaning

Cat Got Your Tongue Meaning | Idioms In English

Have you ever wondered where the phrase Cat got your tongue? came from? Find out why the answer isnt as simple as you might think.

Whats wrong? Has the cat got your tongue?

Chances are, youve heard this expression when youve been stumped for something to say. Its usually when the speaker has the upper hand in the conversation and you are at a loss for words.

Have you ever wondered where the phrase came from? It evokes a fairly grisly mental image of a cat clamping down on your tongue. Yeow! So whats the deal?

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From Torture To Witches To Dismemberment Cat Got Your Tongue Has Origins More Sinister Than You Ever Imagined

Wikimedia Commons

We hear the question Cat got your tongue? all the time when someone teases another person about being at a loss for words. As the surprising story behind this common phrase reveals, it turns out that rendering someone literally speechless is precisely where the question Cat got your tongue? comes from.

The origins of the phrase are not totally clear, but the first written usage occurred in 1881. The illustrated magazine Bayous Monthly, Volume 53, wrote, Has the cat got your tongue, as the children say?

However, the presumed origin of the phrase go farther back than the 1800s, and it had nothing to do with children, but rather the high seas.

Wikimedia CommonsA cat o nine tails

The English Royal Navy ruled much of the worlds oceans in the 18th and 19th centuries. And sailors who misbehaved, didnt follow orders, or who made serious mistakes were brutally flogged with a cat o nine tails. This torture device was like a whip, only worse. It had nine leather or rope straps attached to it and each of the straps had three knots.

The captain might flog a sailor anywhere from five to 100 times. Sometimes a whipping could make someone pass out. The knots in the ropes caused severe bleeding wherever they landed, often on the persons chest or back. So, saying the Cat got your tongue? on an English ship meant you were flogged into submission or into silence.

Wikimedia Commons Depictions of the ancient Egyptian goddess Bastet.

Let The Cat Out Of The Bag

Another popular cat phrase, this refers to revealing a secret without intending to whoops. Because kitties loves to hide in small spaces, you’ll find a cat in a bag fairly often, but the origin of this phrase is fuzzy. Popular folklore has it that it may refer to being whipped by the cat-o’-nine-tails if you got out of line while a member of the British Royal Navy. Or, it harks back to the days of livestock trade on the streets of England during the Renaissance. A hawker would sell you a pig concealed in a bag, but it turned out to be a cat. Snopes even got into the game, dispelling these myths and offering no clear-cut etymology or origin for the phrase. One thing that’s true? This phrase remains a favorite to this day!

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Is There Such A Thing As Musical Ear Syndrome

In fact, it is not uncommon for those who are hard of hearing, or deaf, to experience a condition known as Musical Ear Syndrome. Hearing Loss: Learning the Notes Musical Ear Syndrome , a term first coined in 2004 by Neil G. Bauman, Ph.D. refers to a condition in which those with hearing loss experience musical auditory hallucinations.

What Does Cat Got Your Tongue Mean Top 10 Best Videos Of All Time

Cat Got Your Tongue 1

What Does Cat Got Your Tongue Mean ? You could think that the only thing you require is to show your feline how to walk on a leash. What Does Cat Got Your Tongue Mean ? Thats the entire point of owning a feline. Yet, to learn if your cat is truly the best close friend of your feline, you require to dig much deeper than the surface area. Understanding your pet cats character will assist you to comprehend it much better.

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What Does It Mean To Have Musical Tinnitus

Musical hallucination Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the absence of any corresponding external sound. Some people experience a form of tinnitus where music is heard. This is called musical hallucination, or musical tinnitus.

What is meaning of music to your ears? something that someone says that you are very pleased to hear. Their offer of help was music to my ears. Is music to your ears a metaphor? By itself, this phrase is not a metaphor. If one were to say, for example, the sound of the kettle

Attention: What Does Cat Got Your Tongue Mean

After that there are the pet cat fans who are outwardly pleased, positive, and also joyful. They may not show any of the characteristics of either withdrawn or extroverted, but they do display favorable feelings toward their animals. Favorable feelings can have an effect on a individuals actions. A cat with favorable sensations towards their proprietors can be extra pleasant as well as outward bound than one that feels adverse toward them.

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Cat Idioms From 11 Different Languages

Cats sauntered into human civilization thousands of years ago, and weve been catering to their every whim ever since. They can be stingy with their affection, and tend to be bad gift givers , but we still love and admire our arrogant, aloof, irrepressible feline companions. After so many years of cohabitation, its no wonder theyve infiltrated the way we speak. Here are our nine favorite cat idioms with their equivalents in other languages:

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    What Kind Of Sounds Do You Hear When You Have Mes

    According to Bauman, auditory hallucinations can range from simple sounds such as ringing, roaring, buzzing, hissing, etc., to complex sounds, such as music, singing and voices that sound vaguely like a radio broadcast playing in another room. Those with MES tend to experience hearing sounds in the complex range.

    To Have Nine Lives Like A Cat

    Meaning: to have a talent for getting out of bad situations

    Italian: Avere sette vite come i gatti

    Translation: to have seven lives like a cat

    Turkish, English and many Slavic languages assume cats have eight extra, mystical lives. Italian, German, Spanish and Portuguese give cats two fewer chances to defy mortality.

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    Data Scoring And Design

    Responses were recorded as correct if the participant produced the target phrase. Participants were not penalized for omitting initial words from the idiom that did not change the meaning for example, fish out of water was marked as correct for like a fish out of water. Non-target or missing responses were classified as incorrect. Participants were scored as being in a positive TOT state if they indicated the target phrase was the one they were trying to retrieve. When participants indicated that the phrase they were trying to recall was not the target, this was labeled a negative TOT . Finally, a don’t know state was scored when participants did not know the answer.

    Errors were categorized as literal , figurative , or unrelated by two researchers independently. Unrelated errors were not included in any analyses. In five cases agreement could not be reached and these errors were classified as unrelated and not analyzed further.

    In keeping with other TOT studies, the DK state provided a baseline measure with which to compare responses in the pTOT state . Broadly speaking, if participants are able to recall more correct information in the pTOT state than in the DK state , this suggests that they have access to some form of lexical representation regarding the idiom they are trying to produce.

    What Does Cat Got Your Tongue Mean: How Felines See Our Words And Acts

    What does cat got your tongue mean?

    What Does Cat Got Your Tongue Mean, This monitoring sheds light on the feline individuals personality. Study reveals that human beings and also pets have two distinctive individualities. While the individuality of a human can be described as cozy and friendly, the character of a pet can be described as safety, dominant and of course, even caring. This research suggests that owners of pet dogs tend to be pet cat lovers also, as part of their individuality.

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    Why Did Curiosity Killed The Cat

    Where did the phrase cat got your tongue originate? Cat got your tongue? Origin: The English Navy used to use a whip called Cat-o-nine-tails for flogging. The pain was so severe that it caused the victim to stay quiet for a long time. Another possible source could be from ancient Egypt, where liars and blasphemers

    Roots In The Middle Ages

    According to Oxford Journals, the earliest entry for the expression is in the Oxford English Dictionary of 1911. However, its estimated that the origin dates back to the Middle Ages. One legend has it that witches cats would steal a persons speech so that the sighting could not be reported to the authorities.

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    Can Felines Steal Your Breath

    The phrase may also be related to the myth that cats steal babies breath. This one may also date back to the Middle Ages when people believed cats, drawn to the smell of milk on small infants, would cuddle close and smother them in an effort to get their hands on some of that prized liquid. Yeesh! Of course, today we know that this is just a silly myth.

    Of course, if you do have an infant in the house, its probably best to close the nursery door during nap time. Babies cant move their heads or bodies very well. Your cat may think shes simply cuddling with a new friend, but could, in reality, be obstructing your childs airway.

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