Cat idioms

An idiom is a phrase which should not be taken literally but whose meaning is alluded to by the mental picture it conjures up. Idioms can be very confusing for those who are learning English as a foreign language! The majority of idioms have their roots in history and old ways of doing things.

Cats have been domesticated in Britain since at least the 3rd century BC, according to archaeological finds, and today we share this land with more than eight million cats, many of them in multi-cat households. Inevitably, there are many idioms concerning cats. Here are just some of them:-

“Has the cat got your tongue?” Why don’t you say something?
“That’s let the cat out of the bag.” Now everyone knows the secret.
“There’s not enough room to swing a cat in here!” This space is too small.
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” Do it another way.
“That’s set the cat among the pigeons.” That’s upset things.
“While the cat’s away, the mice will play.” Unsupervised people will do whatever they want to.
“He thinks he’s the cat’s whiskers.” He thinks he’s great.


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