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What Does Let The Cat Out Of The Bag Mean

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Origin Of Let The Cat Out Of The Bag

Let the cat out of the bag. What does that mean?

The origin of this saying is disputed, but the most common explanation is that it came from a trick that was used in the past in English market places.

Apparently, at an earlier time in history, baby pigs were often sold at market. The seller would give the buyer the piglet in a bag. As a trick to save money, the seller would sometimes stick a cat in the bag rather than a piglet. The buyer might not realize he had been cheated until the cat came out of the bag, and the trick was revealed.

An Idiom Is A Phrase Whose Meaning Isn’t Necessarily Obvious From A First Glance At The Individual Words

We’ve all heard and even used the phrase, “let;the cat out of the bag,” but … do we even know what it means? And no, it doesn’t actually mean that a cat is being kept in a bag, ’cause that’s just, well …;ridiculous.

That phrase is an “idiom,” and there are plenty more just like it in the English language. According to Merriam-Webster, an idiom is “an expression in the usage of a language that is peculiar to itself either in having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements or in its grammatically atypical use of words .”

So, in order to help give some clarity, we’ve scoured the internet and found 15 of the most popular idioms in the English language and their meanings.

Courtesy of GIPHY

The Old Cat And The Sea

The first origin story claims the phrase refers to the cat o nine tails, a whipping device infamously used by the Royal Navy as an instrument of punishment aboard its ships. The whips nine knotted cords could scratch an undisciplined sailors back badly, hence its feline nickname. The bag comes into play because the cat, being made of leather, had to be kept in a sack to protect it from drying out in the salty sea air and keep it flexible. Removing a whip from a sack doesnt immediately seem to have anything to do with revealing a secret , but if you think of letting the cat out of the bag as a revelation that results in a punishment, it makes a little more sense.

Urban legend clearinghouse Snopes rejects this origin, however, based on the fact that the phrase let the cat out of the bag was recorded before the term cat o nine tails. But the whips nickname shows up in print earlier than Snopes claims: In a 1695 play called Love for Love by William Congreve, it is used in a very clear reference to a lashing at sea. The same thing can’t be said about let the cat out of the bag, though, and there aren’t any recorded uses of it in a nautical context.

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Examples Of How To Use Let The Cat Out Of The Bag In A Sentence

  • The culprit knows everything about last night incident, we tried our best to convince her but she is not letting the cat out of the bag.
  • Let the cat out of the bag if you want to live here peacefully.
  • The newly recruited members of the intelligence agencies receive training about how to let the cat out of the bag.
  • Let the cat out of the bag, otherwise we will punish you.
  • I have lost my diamond ring last night, if any one of you knows where my ring is; kindly let the cat out of the bag.
  • I was interested to know everything about her, and I was quite sure that she will let the cat out of her bag.
  • I f you are not willing to let the cat out of the bag then I cant do anything; if you will help me than I can help you too.
  • Dont let the cat out of the bag, I f you want to live here peacefully then you must know how to keep the secrets.
  • Our teacher did not let the cat out of the bag about the results until all the papers were checked and signed by principal.

Why Was The Cat In A Bag In The First Place

English Expressions  Let the cat out of the bag

One of the most curious and funny aspects of language is the use of idioms. These expressions use words in a non-literal way to mean something other than the actual meaning of the individual wordsand theyre often quirky, funny, or perplexing, like spill the beans and break a leg.

And, notably, a lot of them involve animals, from straight from the horses mouth to let the cat out of the bag. When we say let the cat out of the bag, were not actually talking about a feline that was in a bag but about a secret or surprise that was revealed. Whats the origin of that idiom? And find out why we say dime a dozen as well.

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What Kind Of Bile Does A Cat Throw Up

Also, if she goes a while without eating, she might throw up a foamy fluid thats white or yellow in color. And she might even throw up a foamy liquid before throwing up a hairball. Green liquid or yellow bile If your cats stomach is empty from going a while without eating, she might end up vomiting bile that looks yellow.

Why Do We Say Cats Out Of The Bag

Well, first, lets consider the first recorded use of the phrase. In a 1760 book review in the London Magazine, the reviewer complained that he wished that the author had not let the cat out of the bag, presumably referring to some kind of plot point.

But while the first recorded use of the phrase is pretty straightforward, its;origin is not. Unfortunately, its hard to pin down a precise origin for many idioms like these, simply because of the way language evolves. People start using phrases gradually, over time, and theres no concrete historical record of how they came up with that phrase. This is especially the case with figurative expressions, which, by definition, dont literally mean what they say.

So theres no definitive consensus as to where it comes from, but there is an explanation that most linguists consider at least somewhat likely. And it actually, literally, involves cats in bags!

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Example Of Let The Cat Out Of The Bag

Today, this phrase is most commonly used after a secret becomes known, and theres no reason to hide it any more.

Here is an example conversation between family members, in which the child has been hiding a failing grade in his mathematics class.

Father: Hi, son. How was school today?

Son: Great! Im getting really good grades in all my classes.

Mother: Really? Even in your math class?

Son: Yep! Especially in my math class.

Father: Son, your teacher called us today and told us youre failing the math class. She let the cat out of the bag. Theres no reason to lie any more.

Son: Im sorry. I was just embarrassed and didnt want to tell you.

Etymology And Originsrate This Definition:

What did you say? What do you mean? Let the cat out of the bag
  • Let the Cat out of the Bag

    To disclose a trick unwittingly. The illusion is to a very old device at country fairs of selling a cat for a sucking pig. One pig only was exposed to view; all the others were supposed to be ready tied up for carrying away. If, on occasion, a purchaser insisted on untying the sack before paying for it, the cat leapt out, and the fraud was discovered. As to the other victims who had taken away theirs on trust, they were forced to admit, because their sack contained no sucking pig, that they had been sucked in.

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    What Does Let The Cat Out Of The Bag Mean

    Let the cat out of the bag means to disclose a secret or to leak a confidential data, talk or material. The idiom has the connotative meaning of telling closed or important information openly. In other words the idiom means to public any unknown or uncommunicated information. This phrase means to communicate any unknown or closed data.

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    Feeling Under The Weather

    Again, the origins of this one are a little unclear; generally, though, it’s thought to be a nautical phrase. According to a number of online repositories of idiomatic expressions, sailors who felt unwell were sent below deck to protect them from the weather â literally, âunder the weather.â Only one of these databases cites an outside source, though, and that source was published fairly recently in 1983. As such, I’m not sure when the first recorded usage of the phrase occurred.

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    Is It Normal For A Cat To Throw Up Hairballs

    Kitties of all ages and breeds may exhibit vomiting as a symptom, but whether or not it is a cause for concern will depend on how often the vomiting occurs and if there is an underlying medical condition thats to blame. Throwing up hairballs is common, and usually nothing to be too worried about.

    Why Does My 11 Year Old Cat Keep Throwing Up

    Why Do We Say "Let the Cat Out of the Bag"?

    The most common cause of vomiting in older cats is chronic small intestinal disease. This disease is due to two primary causes: Both can result in a cat vomiting anywhere from twice per month to even daily. After several months to years, most cats experience weight loss.

    Kitties of all ages and breeds may exhibit vomiting as a symptom, but whether or not it is a cause for concern will depend on how often the vomiting occurs and if there is an underlying medical condition thats to blame. Throwing up hairballs is common, and usually nothing to be too worried about.

    This problem could be as simple as the cat eating too much food in a little time. If you think its hairballs try mixing some hairball food in with the mormal diet. If its hairballs your kitty is vomiting, you can give Vetbasis, a good quality hairball remedy, and try to increase combing her to help remove loose hairs.

    Natalia Mogollon, who goes by Alinity Divine, threw her cat over her shoulder Mogollon, from Saskatoon, Canada, has over 90,000 followers on Twitter PETA and the SPCA both condemned her actions after viewers reported the clip Mogollon has several pets that live with her at her home in Saskatoon.

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    Let The Cat Out Of The Bag Meaning

    Its no secret that to let the cat out of the bag is a popular English colloquialism that means to reveal something that wasnt meant to be revealed, usually unintentionally. As such, people who might be commonly referred to as blabbermouths may also tend to let the cat out of the bag a bit more than the average citizen. Thats not to say that most people have not been the perpetrators of the embarrassing situation that this popular phrase refers to a few times in their lives.

    However, while the meaning tends to be relatable, the origins of this popular phrase are not exactly so clear. The one thing that is known about letting the cat out of the bag is that the first clearly documented instance of the phrase being used was back in 1760 in an early issue of The London Magazine, where a disappointed reviewer argues that we couldve wished that the author had not let the cat out of the bag.

    While there is no certainty as to where the term actually came from, there are theories. Two of the most popular are the pig in a poke theory and the cat onine tails theory, both of which are hashed out below.

    Pronunciation In American English

    This idiom is generally heard in conversations rather than seen in writing. Therefore, its important to realize how it is commonly pronounced.

    The two words out of often get blended together in speech. Once blended, this part of the phrase sounds like outta. The whole phrase together sounds like, He let the cat outta the bag.

    Also, if you dont know who told the secret, you can simply say, The cats outta the bag.

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    I Donut Mean To Let The Bag Out Of The Cat

    what the fuck?

    Let me translate:

    A X O L T L MY TIME HAS COME TO BURN I INVOKE THE ANCIENT POWER THAT I MAY RETURN

    what?

    Godzilla had a stroke trying to understand this and fucking died

    What the fuck is going on?

    What To Do If Your Cat Throws Up A Lot

    IDIOMS – 14 l Let the cat out of the bag l How to use idioms in sentences

    This problem could be as simple as the cat eating too much food in a little time. If you think its hairballs try mixing some hairball food in with the mormal diet. If its hairballs your kitty is vomiting, you can give Vetbasis, a good quality hairball remedy, and try to increase combing her to help remove loose hairs.

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    Let The Cat Out Of The Bag

    There are two possible explanations for this one floating around out there, but unfortunately we don’t know which of them is correct â or, indeed, if either of them is correct. The first explanation describes it as relating to a punishment for sailors; allegedly once upon a time, the British Royal Navy kept a cat o’ nine tails on each ship stored in a leather bag. When a sailor needed flogging, out came the bag â and out came the whip. As Mental Floss puts it, taking a whip out of a sack doesn’t initially seem to have much to do with revealing a secret â but âif you think of ‘letting the cat out of the bag’ as a revelation that results in punishment, it makes a little more sense.

    The second alleged origin relates the phrase to livestock fraud. The con pulled involved selling piglets in sacks and swapping the sacks for ones filled with cats after the customer had made the purchase. Snopes, however, discounts both of these potential origins, so alas, we may never know the truth.

    What Does To Let The Cat Out Of The Bag Mean

    “To let the cat out of the bag” means to reveal something thatthe people in the conversation were trying to avoid talking about,or were trying to hide.

    The origin of this phrase dates back to the medieval Europeanmarketplaces. Farmers would bring their piglets to market in smallbags called “pokes.” They would open the bags for their customersupon request in order to show that the pigs were of good quality.Occasionally, some unscrupulous pig farmer who had had a bad yearwould bring cats he had caught and try to sell them as piglets.These farmers would try to sell the customers a “pig in a poke”(that is, to sell the customer the “pig” sight unseens by tellingthem that “if you open the poke, the pig will escape.” Every oncein a while, a customer would call such a farmer’s bluff, and letthe cat out of the bag.

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    The Pig In A Poke Theory

    One of the most popular theories as to the origin of the term actually refers to a pig and not a cat.

    The theory goes that the term originated in a common old English market practice where livestock were often sold and traded in open markets. Occasional sellers would simply throw a live pig into a bag for the buyer to carry home, which was referred to at the time as selling a pig in a poke; poke simply being a slang term for a bag or sack.

    It is hypothesized that occasionally, rather than selling the buyer a pig, a malicious seller would actually toss a feral cat into the bag, all the while warning the buyer not to open the bag until they got home so that the pig didnt get out. Therefore, once the buyer got home and the cat was let out of the bag, the dishonesty of the seller would then become an open secret. As such, another idiom, dont buy a pig in a poke was a way of saying you should always be wary of what you are being sold.

    Critics have argued that this theory seems implausible for a number of reasons. One of the most obvious is that piglets weigh more than cats, even heavy ones. And one could guess that a feral cat in the 16th century might not have a lot to eat. It is also easy to imagine that an animal held inside a bag would likely be in a state of considerable distress and might foreseeably cry out in anguish, and it is a generally well known fact that cats and pigs make noticeably different sounds.

    Is There A Tote Bag With A Cat On It

    What Is the Origin of Let the Cat out of the Bag ...

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