25 More Cat Idioms and Funny Cat Videos
There are many things that make the English language interesting and hard to learn. Idioms could be described as one of those things. Just when you think you have it figured out, someone springs one of these on you and you are totally lost. What happened?
Whether it be a single word, a couple words, a phrase or a sentence, an idiom means something entirely different than the actual meanings of each of the word or words that make up the idiom. Take for instance the idiom, "kick the bucket". This phrase has nothing to do with kicking or a bucket, but instead indicates that someone has died.
Let's look at another one - "keep your pants on". Again, this phrase has nothing to do with undressing. Instead, it has to do with having patience.
So an idiom is a form of speech, or a phrase or expression, that means something entirely different than the actual meanings of the words of which it is comprised. The meaning of an idiom is not predictable. Idioms can be related to a single dialect or to a whole country or people.
In the article, Who is The Cat in the Mirror; Cat Idioms; Funny Cat Videos, I listed 20 idioms that were related to cats. In this article, I will be discussing 25 more idioms also related to cats. I hope you enjoy learning about them, and the history of some of the terms we frequently use.
- Catcalls –This phrase is used to describe the behavior of the audience who is booing actors who had done a bad job of acting. This phrase came about in Shakespeare's time when men were known to make caterwauling noises (like a bunch of cats) to indicate their displeasure of an acting performance in the theater.
- Pussyfooting around– This phrase is used when a person is speaking carefully and not quite to the point (not wanting to commit). This phrase, believed to be American in origin, makes reference to the fact that cats can be sly and sneaky when stalking prey.
- It's raining cats and dogs – This phrase indicates that it is storming quite heavily. There are two possible origins for this phrase. The first: In early London, cats were known to hunt mice on the roofs of the buildings. If they got caught on the roofs in a rainstorm, they would be washed off and onto anyone below. The second: In the tales of the storm king Odin, the dog who was an attendant to the king represented the wind. Cats eventually started symbolizing a heavy rain. So, a very strong storm with lots of wind would include cats and dogs.
- Playing cat and mouse – This phrase indicates that a person is toying with another person in a teasing and cruel way.
- Catting around and Tom catting around – These phrases indicate that someone is living an aimless and immoral lifestyle.
- Sourpuss – This term would be used to describe a person who is in a bad mood or cranky. It is believed to have been derived from the word, “buss”, which long ago meant “face”. As time went by, people began pronouncing “buss” and “puss” and it became associated with a cat.
- Let sleeping cats lie - This phrase comes from a French proverb and means to leave things status quo – just the way they are
- Glamour puss –This phrase refers to a glamorously attractive female. Just like sourpuss above, it is believed to been derived from the word, “buss”, which long ago meant “face”. As time went by, people began pronouncing “buss” and “puss” and it became associated with a cat.
- Weak as a kitten – This term actually began as “weak as a cat”, but was later changed to “weak as a kitten.” It means to be very weak or fragile
- See which way the cat jumps – This phrase was derived from a very cruel practice that took place long ago. A cat would be placed (as a target) on a post or in a tree; and the shooter would pause to watch which direction the cat was going to jump before taking his shot.
Looking like a cat that swallowed a canary – This term refers to a person with a very satisfied look on their face.
Morals of an alley cat – This term refers to a person who is very amoral and has no scruples.
Scaredy-cat or a Fraidy cat – This term refers to a person who is afraid to do something, especially a dare.
Catwalk – The word is used to describe a very narrow walkway. It describes a cat’s ability to maintain its balance even in very narrow and high places.
All cats are gray in the dark – This phrase is derived from an English proverb, and means that until a person has made a name for themselves they are just another face in the crowd.
Copycat – This term is used to describe a person who is copying another person. It is believed to come from the fact that kittens generally learn to do things by copying their mother.
Sweeten the kitty – This phrase means “to up the ante” or to “increase the pot”. It is thought to come from the faro game in which the “tiger” referred to the house’s bank. This tiger was often referred to as the “kitty”, and was soon known to be the payout. To “sweeten the kitty” or to “fatten the kitty” meant that someone was increasing the amount that was in the pot.
Keep no more cats than will catch mice – This phrase is an admonishment for a person to avoid others who are not willing to pull their own weight and will require your assistance at all times.
Curiosity killed the cat – This phrase initially started out as “care kills a cat”. “Care”, in this phrase, meant to be overly cautious or careful (just like a cat), which was known to shorten lives, even in the 16th century when this phrase was coined. “Curiosity” evolved over time for the word “care”.
Dead cat on the line – The cat in this phrase initially referred to a catfish and was used to describe something going wrong on a person’s fishing lines that were checked daily. A later meaning for the phrase was even more interesting. In the 1970’s, when many people still had party lines for their telephone service, and an uninvited party was listening in on the conversation, this uninvited busy body was referred to as a “dead cat on the line”.
Catnap – This word is used to describe napping for a very short time period, and very lightly, just as a cat does.
- Catlap – This word refers to the way a cat drinks, lapping, and refers to a weak drink such as tea or milk.
- Like herding cats – If you can imagine the difficulty of trying to herd a bunch of cats and trying to keep them all moving in the same direction, it is easy to understand the meaning of this phrase. It is often used to describe something that is very difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish.
Catty remarks – malicious comments made by one woman usually about another woman.
Fighting like cats and dogs – This phrase is used to describe individuals who are fighting, or quarreling, viciously.
Since I had so much fun researching cat idioms and finding funny cat videos last time, I decided it was time to do it again. I hope you enjoy these videos as much as I did.
In case you're up for some more funny kitten videos, here they are! Two of them are extremely short.
The kitten below definitely has some issues ... it does appear to be seeing things.
It's a good thing this next video is short, because I had to watch it three times!
That about covers our journey though the often entertaining and very amusing life of our four-legged friends - the kitty cat.
If you want to see more funny cat videos, don't miss this one:
- Who is The Cat in the Mirror; Cat Idioms; Funny Cat Videos - More cat idioms and funny videos about cat's responses to their image in a mirror.