Feline Words Phrases N Expressions

Cat: The English word cat dates back centuries. It’s roots are in the Latin cattus which is purported to be from Africa, in the Berber word kaddiska and the Nubian word kadis…all of which have the same meaning “cat.” The various European words for cat are similar: French-chat; German-Katze; Italian-gatto, Spanish-gato; Swedish-katt; and Dutch-kat.

Catty: People exchange slurs and snide remarks about someone and someone interjects with, “meow!” Translation…catty. The dictionary has several different meaning for the word catty, such as stealthy, aloof or agile. The usual meaning is, “slyly spiteful.” A cat has no ability to gossip or criticize!

Scaredy Cat: A dog is more likely to attack something bigger than itself than a cat is. A cat will attack things smaller than itself such as a mouse, but if faced with a bigger attacker, they don’t lie down and whimper. A cat’s view is more pragmatic, that is: kill small things, flee the big if possible, fight off the big ones if necessary and do gown fighting!

To cry or screech like a cat in heat
To make a shrill, discordant sound
To have a noisy argument
cat·er·waul – /kadər wôl/
gerund or present participle: caterwauling
(of a cat) make a shrill howling or wailing noise — “the caterwauling of a pair of bobcats”
synonyms: howl, wail, bawl, cry, yell, scream, screech, yowl, ululate — “we could hear those felines caterwauling all night”

Catwalk: a narrow walkway, especially one high above the surrounding area, used to provide access or allow workers to stand or move, as over the stage in a theater, outside the roadway of a bridge, along the top of a railroad car, etc.

Cat-and-Mouse: This old expression has a couple of meanings. Both are similar. Tormenting something before defeating it-the idea that cats play with their prey before killing it and pursuit with near capture and escapes before the final capture-as in “she liked to read cat-and-mouse mystery novels.”

Pussycat: A female cat is technically a queen and not a pussycat. In early times, people referred to any cat as a pussycat. With the advance of vulgarity, people began to connect pussycat to mean female cat. Linguists tell us that the old Germanic word puss referred to the female body’s sexual area, so the word hasn’t changed much. It is anyone’s guess how the word came to be connected with cats!

Belling the cat: One of the many fables attributed to the Greek storyteller Aesop concerns a meeting of mice. They are concerned about a cat. One mouse has an ingenious idea: tie a bell around the cat’s neck so they can hear the cat when it is coming. A wonderful idea but with a problem…which mouse is going to put the bell on the cat? The job would be suicide. No one volunteered. The phrase belling the cat is still in use today. It refers to any idea that looks good on paper but is useless in the real world.

Let the cat out of the bag: To reveal a secret. In medieval times, piglets were taken to markets and sold in sacks. Occasionally, an unscrupulous vendor would try to pass off a cat or puppy in a bag as a piglet. If the cat escaped in view of the potential buyer, so did the secret.

Kitty-corner or catty-corner: Comes from catercorner, the old dialectical term for diagonal, which itself comes from the French word “quatre,” or four.

Raining cats and dogs: A driving rain. This ever-popular expression first appeared in print in 1653. (“It shall raine … dogs and polecats.”) No one has a definitive explanation for where it comes from, but everyone has a theory.

What Is the Origin of the Saying “Raining Cats and Dogs“? There are 2 theories:

1. In Victorian times the street drainage was so poor that pets left on the streets would drown during rain storms. After the rainfall, the dead cats and dogs strewn across the streets made it appear as though it had been raining cats and dogs.

2. In Victorian times household pets such as cats and dogs, slept during the night on the eaves of houses. When it rained heavily, the water from the roof washed them off the eaves, and they came down with the torrent of water from the roofs of houses. As it appeared as though the cats and dogs had fallen with the rain, the term raining cats and dogs was born.

Not enough room to swing a cat: A crowded, tight space. This phrase possibly deals with cruelty to humans, not animals. Theories say it refers to the cat o’ nine tails, a pronged whip used for punishment on boats at sea. There wasn’t enough room below decks to perform the punishment, so it was always done on the deck. The phrase could also relate to the use of cats that were swung into the air as targets for archers.

Cat Nights: This term harks back to the days when people believed in witches. An old Irish legend says that a witch could turn into a cat and regain herself eight times, but on the ninth time, in August, she couldn’t change back, hence the saying: “A cat has nine lives.” Because August is a “yowly” time for cats, this may have prompted the speculation about witches on the prowl in the first place.


an English tailor in the late seventeen and early eighteen hundreds made fine silk pajamas for royalty and other rich patrons. His name was E. B. Katz. His marketing as well as his workmanship was considered outstanding. King George III favored Katz’s pyjamas for its fine color and silk over any other sleepwear.

The phrase “the cat’s pyjamas” became popular in the United States in the 1920’s. During that time, pyjamas were a relatively new fashion style.

In addition, the word CAT was used as a term to describe the flappers of the jazz era – and men who were fortunate enough to see a beautiful woman dressed in fashionable lounging pyjamas would comment on his luck as being “the cat’s pyjamas.”

It Is Enough To Make A Cat Laugh: idiom
This expression dates from the mid 19th century and is associated with the story of Puss in Boots a European literary fairy tale about a cat who uses trickery and deceit to gain power, wealth, and the hand of a princess in marriage for his penniless and low-born master.

Clowder – A group of cats or other small felines.

Ailurophile – Cat lover

Kitttenish: Kittens really are playful and frisky, hence the word…kittenish.

Thanks fur the memories.
All about that pawsitive mental attitude.
All you need is love and a cat.
Purring myself up by the floofstraps.
Not all angels have wings. Sometimes they have whiskers.
Love is a four-legged word.
She came, she purred, she conquered.
Purr-haps we can cuddle later.
It’s the purrfect time for a nap.
You’re the cat’s meow.
I want to spend all nine lives together.
The road to my heart is paved with paw prints.
I love you meow and furever.
I have a cattitude problem.
Looking good, feline better.
Anything is paws-ible with a cat by your side.