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Radierung von Salomon Hegi Dietegen mit der Armbrust. Category : Gottfried Keller. Namespaces Gallery Discussion. Views View Edit History. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikipedia Wikisource. This page was last edited on 27 April , at To come to more familiar tongues, in Dutch the word is kat; in Swedish, katt; Italian, gatto; Portuguese and Spanish gato; Polish, kot; Russian, kots; Turkish, keti; Welsh, cath; Cornish, kath; German, die Katze a Frenchman deploring that chat is masculine in French, admires this choice of gender ; Basque, catua; Armenian, kitta; Picardian, ca, co; Burgundian, chai; Catalonian, gat.
The antique rituals in the Louvre give the Egyptian name as mau, mai, maau. In every language allusions to the cat are sprinkled as thickly as currants in a good fruit-cake.
Many of these take the form of derivative words, the formation of a good half of which is as mysterious as puss herself. Others are metaphorical or proverbial, and have a bearing on the popular ideas, prejudices, and superstitions concerning the cat. Many of the following examples are from other sources. There are, to begin with, the sea-terms, which seem to offer cumulative evidence that the cat is a favourite marine animal. There is the cat-boat, which formerly was called merely the cat, and some students of folklore have tried to prove that this was the kind of cat Dick Whittington owned.
The significance of catamaran, another variety of boat, which rights itself in a surf, is quite clear. The word is derived from the Italian, gatta marina, and is an allusion to the faculty the cat possesses of falling on his feet. Cat-harping is the name for a purchase of ropes employed to brace the shrouds in the lower masts behind their yards. Two little holes astern, above the gun-room ports, are called cat-holes. Lastly there is the terrible cat-o-nine-tails. Folklorists have discovered cross references. Many plants are named after cats: cat-briar, an Americanism for smilax, which I offer to H.
In American slang one old cat is a kind of primitive baseball game. Letting the old cat die is to allow a swing to prove that there is no such phenomenon as perpetual motion. As the swing sags back and forth eight or nine times after you have stopped pushing it this phrase possibly has reference to the nine lives of the cat. Cattycornered, meaning diagonally opposite or across, has reference to the oblique movements of the cat. Scat is an interjection used to tell puss to make a speedy departure.
A kind of double tripod with six feet, intended to hold a plate before the fire and so constructed that in whatever position it is placed three of the legs rest on the ground is called a cat from the belief that however a cat may be thrown she always lands on her feet. There are sea-cats, cat-fish, cat-birds, cat-squirrels, and cat-owls, or flying cats.
A French word for owl is chat-huant. Cat-face is a mark in lumber wood; cat-ice, thin ice of a milky appearance from under which the water has receded. Cat-nap is a short nap taken while sitting; cat-ladder a kind of ladder used on sloping roofs of houses; cat-steps, the projections of the stones in the slanting part of the gable; cat-pipe, an artificial cat-call.
Puss gentleman is eighteenth century for catamite. Kitty is a common poker term. Copy cat is a misnomer because cats never copy anybody. Salt-cat is a mess of coarse meal placed in a dove-cote to allure strangers. To jerk, shoot, or whip the cat means to vomit. It was once a trick of farmers to bring a cat to market in a bag and sell it for a suckling pig to the unwary. If the purchaser discovered the deception he let the cat out of the bag; if he did not he was said to have bought a pig in a poke.
Both expressions have become proverbial.
You may have heard of the Catskills. Cat was a movable pent-house used in the middle ages by besiegers to protect themselves when approaching fortifications. All languages are rich in cat proverbs, many of which appear to have been the inventions of those who believe what Buffon and Noah Webster had to say about the animal.
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Plutarch, when in Egypt, heard the proverb, An overdressed lady is like a cat dressed in saffron. An old Chinese saying is, A lame cat is better than a swift horse when rats infest the palace. It is not the fleas of dogs that will make cats mew, is also Chinese. This may be regarded as a compliment to the intelligence of the cat. A Hindu saying is, If you want to know what a tiger is like, look at a cat; if you want to know what a tiger is like, look at a butcher.
I am inclined to agree with Lockwood Kipling that only the first half of this proverb is true. As cats are sometimes slung in a net in India, a proverb descriptive of sudden success is The cat is in luck; the net is torn.
The "inspiration" for the Alchemaster's Apprentice : Zamonia
I was not so angry at the cat for stealing the butter as at her wagging her tail shows that Hindu humanity is not so very different in some respects from European or American. The cat does not catch mice for God is a priceless bit of wisdom. Even a cat is a lion in her own lair is said of mild-tempered people who fly into sudden rages. It is also in Kashmir that they say, If cats had wings there would be no ducks in the lake.
An Indian mother will say to an idle girl, Did the cat sneeze or what? A sneering proverb has it, In a learned house even the cat is learned. A sly man is said to look like a drowned cat; a live cat is said to be better than a dead tiger. It is easy to understand the meaning of The cowed cat allows even a mouse to bite its ears but did the thing ever happen? The Portuguese say: The cat is certainly friendly but it scratches.
A charming Russian proverb says: The day is young, said the cat, remembering that he could wait. Plays of cat, tears of mice is also Russian. The cat will catch fish but he does not soil his paws is German. A delightful Italian saying is: Four things are necessary for a home: grain, a cock, a cat, and a wife. The available examples of cat proverbs in English are so very numerous that I must content myself with giving only a few of them.
Some of these are true folk-sayings; others have become popular through their appearance in plays and novels. Care will kill a cat. A muffled cat is no good mouser. The cat is out of kind that sweet milk will not lap. You can have no more of a cat than her skin, a proverb which does not take into account the French custom of using puss for rabbit stew.
Fain would the cat eat fish but she is loth to wet her feet. The cat sees not the mouse ever. Though the cat winks awhile, yet sure she is not blind. The more you rub a cat on her back the higher she sets up her tail. Well might the cat wink when both her eyes were out. How can the cat help it if the maid be a fool? That that comes of a cat will catch mice. A cat may look at a king. An old cat laps as much as a young kitten. When the cat is away the mice will play. The cat knows whose lips she licks. Cry you mercy killed my cat this was spoken of those who played tricks and then tried to escape punishment by begging pardon.
When candles are out all cats are grey. By biting and scratching cats and dogs come together.