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《3 Cat-Related Idioms 》

Being the loyal companions to humans for over a thousand years, cats and dogs have a huge impact on human culture, especially on our languages. Below are three English idioms that are related to cats!

 

#Copycat

 

This is a term that describes people who copy others. In the past, people noticed that kittens tend to mimic their mothers’ behaviour, hence leading to this phrase being used. In “The Country of Pointed Firs”, a book published in 1896, the author wrote “In these days the young folks is all copy-cats”. So you can see this term has at least 200 years of history!

 

#Let the Cat Out of the Bag

 

This means that “a secret is accidentally exposed”. In the past, peddlers would sell pigs in a sack. In order to earn more profits, some peddlers will use stray cats instead to deceive the buyers. That’s why “Letting the Cat Out of the Bag” means “exposing a secret”!

 

#Cat Has Got One’s Tongue

 

This is a term that accuses someone of “not speaking when they are asked to”. In the past, the British navy had an interrogation tool called “Cat O’Nine Tails”, which looks like a whip with nine tails. When the target got hit, it would be so painful that they couldn’t speak. So the premise for using this phrase is that the speaker has power or authority over the recipient. 

 

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