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Cliche Origins

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  #11  
Old 06-10-2002, 07:20 PM
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T Paul T Paul is offline
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there are a lot of cat ones....

"let the cat out of the bag "

"copycat"

"look what the cat dragged in"

"cat's pajamas "

"like a cat on a hot tin roof"

"raining cats and dogs"

"when the cat's away, the mice will play"


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  #12  
Old 06-10-2002, 09:36 PM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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When I was a kid, every time I'd say, "What for?" my mom would answer

"Cat's fur to make kitten britches"

To this day I have no idea what that one even means...

Last edited by Jakaleena; 06-10-2002 at 09:48 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-10-2002, 09:43 PM
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T Paul T Paul is offline
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Okay Jak this is what I found.....

The phrase "Cat's fur to make kitten britches" is a joking nonsense reply to the question "What for?" or "What's that for?" It's a pun on the words for and fur, which are often pronounced identically.

There are other examples of this sort of wordplay in response to questions:

"So what?"
"Sew buttons"

or
"Well?"
"The well is deep" (or "dry")

Although hard evidence is lacking, the expression cat's fur to make kitten britches seems to date back to the nineteenth century. It isn't specifically associated with any region of the country.

And now you know the rest of the story.
-T

Last edited by T Paul; 06-10-2002 at 09:49 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06-10-2002, 09:51 PM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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Yeah, I think as I got a bit older I started to understand the play on words between "what for" and "Cat's fur" - it was the "kitten britches" part that I could never figure out.

And I always got:

"Well?"

"That's a deep subject, be sure not to fall in..."
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  #15  
Old 06-13-2002, 09:21 PM
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Steve Taylor Steve Taylor is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sanda
Poor cats seem to figure in a lot of clichés like the one "not enough room to swing a cat". Poor cats.
One of my favorites "He/She is running around like a one legged cat trying to bury s*** on a frozen pond"

Not sure if this one will make it past the censor but it sure describes some people that I know.

Steve
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  #16  
Old 06-14-2002, 02:54 AM
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I just had to post this one ... from my favourite cartoonist of all time, Gary Larson. (hope I don't get into trouble for this ...!)

Sam
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  #17  
Old 06-14-2002, 12:15 PM
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thanks for posting that Sam! I love "Far side" comics!!

- David
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  #18  
Old 06-14-2002, 04:04 PM
rondon rondon is offline
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i'll put that one in my mental book there steve taylor
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