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There is More Than One Way to Skin a Cat - Random Phrases and Idioms, A Dictionary of Ridiculous Thoughts
Is there more than one way to skin a cat?
I’m not a taxidermist or a butcher so the reality of this idiom has always baffled me. Could there be a definitive tool or method used when attempting to skin a cat? Not knowing much about this sort of thing I decided to shun all forms of research and embrace the absurd.
Cat Meets Fan....then Wall
Ways to Skin a Cat
With a Knife – sounds reasonable and effective.
With a Spoon – a blunt approach to the challenge.
Use a Firecracker – A well placed firecracker could loosen things up, could make the cat a little more meowable.
Acid – Combined with speed, it could be quite a trip to skin a cat like this.
Curiosity – Can’t skin a cat, but certainly can kill it.
Use a Fan - Yes, you can get a cat to jump out of it's skin by using a fan.
Further Reading on Idioms
Humorous Advice and Stories From Sschilke
Let's Stop Being Silly
All right, all right... enough is enough. Even I'm getting tired of my juvenile responses. It’s time to get serious and interpret this idiom, to scratch out its true meaning. When you hear someone say “There is more than one way to skin a cat” that person is implying that there are many different ways to complete a task.
How did anyone ever come up with a correlation between skinning a cat and the number of different ways to complete a task? Some possible roots of this phrase could be the result of the following.
1) Skinning of a fish (a cat fish).
2) Mark Twain used the phrase in "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" published in 1889, but the phrase was actually first recorded in "John Ray's Collection of English Proverbs" back in 1678. Some early phrases such as "there are more ways to kill a cat then by choking it by butter" seem to be related.
3) There does not seem to be a connection between "skinning the cat" in gymnastics and the idiom "more than one way to skin a cat."
Nevertheless, none of the above connections adequately explains the origins of the phrase, but in the end, it doesn't really matter because I think cats are cool with the whole thing. They may get the short end of the stick with all of the skinning, but remember it's not all bad, those lucky blokes get nine lives.