Streams

Word Maven Patricia T. O'Conner on Cat Speak

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Our word maven Patricia T. O'Conner talks about cat language—phrases like “letting the cat out of the bag,” “cat’s pajamas,” “catspaw,” “kitty corner,” “cat got your tongue,” and many others. She also answers questions about our confounding and complex English language. An updated and expanded third edition of her book, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English, has recently been published in paperback, and a paperback version of Origins of the Specious, written with Stewart Kellerman, was just issued.

Do you have a question about language and grammar, or about the origins and meanings of certain cat expressions? Call us at 646-829-3985 or leave a comment below!

Guests:

Patricia T. O'Conner

Comments [111]

Michael from Cincinnati

"More than one way to skin a cat" actually refers to the skinning of cat fish rather than our furry friends.

Mar. 27 2011 05:51 PM
Thelma from Tennessee

My mother used to comment about something unusual, such as a huge crop of tomatoes or a rainstorm, etc., "It's a sight to the cats." And my grandmother used to say, "There's more than one way to kill a cat than choking it on hot butter." I don't think it makes any sense, but I know what it means.

Mar. 24 2011 11:38 AM
Manya from NYC

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ailurophile

Mar. 24 2011 10:47 AM
NachoMan from Stockholm, Sweden

My cat talks in her sleep. It sounds like a tone poem, a good one. I can almost follow the narrative.

Mar. 24 2011 04:26 AM
elaine from li

Maybe the expression 'raining cats and dogs' didn't start with it actually raining. Maybe it came about when food was scarce and a lot of stray animal would show up looking for food, possibly in garbage. Maybe raining cats and dogs just meant that there were a lot of cats and dogs about and then it got carried over to describe a heavy rain. (I have too much free time).

Mar. 23 2011 10:41 PM
Marvin Polonsky

I'm really amazed that you didn't know ailurophile (or -phobe). With regard to cats, there's also a Cockney song by Charley O'Hagerty called "The Bocy In The Bag" that is about ca cat.
On another ntoe, I'm really bothered by people who say that something's "for free." It's either "free" or "for no charge". Isn't that so?

Mar. 23 2011 05:49 PM
sandra from bklyn

i have apparently demystified "ailouros" three times! sorry, folks. don't know what's short circuiting over here!

Mar. 23 2011 02:05 PM
Melanie from Bronx, NY

It takes so long to boot up my computer that I missed calling this in, but the word for "cat lover" that a caller asked about is:
ailurophile, one who loves cats
from the Greek: ailouros, cat + phile

There is also the complement: ailurophobe, one who hates or fears cats

I'm in the first cat-egory

Mar. 23 2011 02:04 PM
Jackson from Manhattan

When I was a teen, working at my local ice cream establishment we had both "jimmies" and 'sprinkles". Jimmies were name brand and made of chocolate and sprinkles were a bit generic. The were different colors and supposedly different flavors. Our shop received each from different manufacturer's. At one time the maker of Peeps made Sprinkles in their off season.

Mar. 23 2011 02:00 PM

WEDGE= term i have only heard in yonkers,ny/ wedge=referring to a submarine or hoagie , type of sandwich made on 1 piece of Italian bread.well we called it Italian bread back in the 60 and 70's.When i went in the service in 1973 and tried to order a wedge for lunch as in meatball wedge, ham and cheese wedge, in the south and every place i was including new jersey , the deli owner looked at me like i was speaking another language, they tried to see me a hoagie or submarine, but i wouldn't take it. Would order something on rye bread

Mar. 23 2011 01:59 PM
Lauren Heller from Fresh Meadows, NY

A tsunami is a seismic sea wave.

Tidal waves are driven by the pull of the moon and and Earth's gravity...the tides.

VERY DIFFERENT things!

Mar. 23 2011 01:59 PM
Jeremy Patton from Atlanta, GA

How about "hotter than a nine ball Tom Cat?"

Mar. 23 2011 01:59 PM
Mort from Warren County, NJ

Dear Leonard,
You need a better informed word expert. Ms. O'Conner has shown significant deficiencies at each appearance on your show. I cringe when you and listeners need to correct her. She does not inspire confidence, at least not in this professor emeritus of English.

Mar. 23 2011 01:58 PM
Edward from NJ

@Ken from Manhattan, I hate "the following customer" as a phrase. The first place I recall hearing it was at Commerce Bank. It was at multiple branches, so I have to assume that it was a corporate policy. Perhaps, some executive there thought the word "next" was somehow crass, or maybe it was a regionalism wherever said executive came from.

Mar. 23 2011 01:58 PM
Hal

Tidal wave has other possible meanings including tidal BORE, which occurs twice a day, and is thus truly tidal.

Mar. 23 2011 01:57 PM
Mary Catherine

Can you please explain when to use 'toward' as opposed to 'towards'?

Mar. 23 2011 01:57 PM
FUTURADOSMIL from BROOKLYN

in so much as we apply these phrases to brains&brawn what about the obvious? distinction between male&female as they relate to CATS&DOGS.

Mar. 23 2011 01:56 PM
Joe from Park Slope

My mother could not abide being referred to as she, saying she was "not the cat's mother!" I never understood what that meant. any ideas?

Mar. 23 2011 01:56 PM
Beth from Park Slope

Is it "all of the sudden" or "all of a sudden". In the Stieg Larsson trilogy (Girl With the...) he kept using "all of a sudden" and it was driving me crazy!!! But I'm now worried I'm wrong...

Mar. 23 2011 01:56 PM
Thomas Towle from Brooklyn

My grandmother used to say, when referring to a high price - "It's higher than a cat's back."

Mar. 23 2011 01:55 PM
Catherine Nieves from Long Island

My cat loves to sleep on my chest and get his face near to mine. I've see images of this too and always wondered if there was a connection to the expression "cat got your tongue", or perhaps my imagination has nothing to do with the etymology as you have noted for many of these phrases.

Mar. 23 2011 01:55 PM
sandra from bklyn

ai·lu·ro·phile noun \ī-ˈlu̇r-ə-ˌfī(-ə)l, ā-\

Definition of AILUROPHILE: a cat fancier : a lover of cats

Origin of AILUROPHILE: Greek ailouros cat

First Known Use: 1927

Mar. 23 2011 01:54 PM
marc from manhattan

what about "cat" in black slang for "hip person"?

Mar. 23 2011 01:54 PM
Jackie from NYC

In memory of Elizabeth Taylor, we should mention her unforgettable performance as the sympatheticly catty Maggie in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

Mar. 23 2011 01:54 PM
Nicole Hunn from Westchester County, NY

Has the term "beg the question" been ruined? I never hear it used properly any more, and in fact now even hear it used by respected news anchors to mean, in effect, for circumstances to plead that a question be asked. Have we evolved this phrase out of its original use? It was so useful before!

Mar. 23 2011 01:54 PM
Rebecca from brooklyn

My impression is that catywampus is used in construction, and means "not square" which makes sense with catacorner, and has then come to mean off-kilter.

Mar. 23 2011 01:54 PM
art525 from park slope

@George from Manhattan- it seems to me that it comes from the game of 8 ball in pool. If your cue ball ends up behind the 8 ball and you can't hit another ball without hitting the 8 ball (and without a ban shot) you lose.

Mar. 23 2011 01:54 PM
Effie Serlis from NYC

The English use the word cow to insultingly refer to woman. How awful!

Mar. 23 2011 01:54 PM
Laurie Siegel from Forest Hills, NY

The correct spelling is "ailurophile"--a cat lover. An "ailurophobe" is someone who is afraid of cats.

As for Jimmies, the term originated in the Massachusetss Brigham's ice cream chain where a little girl asked for sprinkles and was told that "no, they're Jimmy's", referring to a boy named Jimmy

Mar. 23 2011 01:53 PM
Rebecca Stronger from brooklyn

I'm a veterinarian and listenign to the porgram i remembered a feline-specific parasite called aelurostrongylus, so i figured that the prefix does have feline reference. Found this link.

http://wordinfo.info/unit/42/ip:3

Mar. 23 2011 01:53 PM
Garry from Manhattan

One of my favorite old-time sayings is one my father sometimes uses: "nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs." It's such a strong image.

Mar. 23 2011 01:53 PM
Maggie from nj

For those interested in pursuing this topic down a different alley I recommend Henry Beard's very droll book of poetry by poets' cats, including: "Treed" by Joyce Kilmer's Cat,"Meow" by Allen Ginzburg's cat, " 'Do Not Go Peaceable to that damn Vet" by Dylan Thomas' cat. A line from Carl Sandburg's cat goes something like "The storm thundered in on big people feet."

Mar. 23 2011 01:53 PM
tim from Manhattan

Cats in a bag refers to drowning unwanted kittens in a bag. Common in England once
apon a time.
sadly

Mar. 23 2011 01:53 PM
Paul from Brooklyn

ailurophile

Aeluroid
Belonging to, or having the characteristics of, the division Aeluroidea of Carnivora, comprising the feline and allied families; as an animal of this division.

Mar. 23 2011 01:52 PM
Janet

If the cat's cradle game has it's origins in the middle ages, then, like many nursery rhymes, maybe the name has a political origin. Perhaps cat is the nickname of some royal Catherine who did or did not appropriately fill her cradle?

Mar. 23 2011 01:52 PM
Mort from Warren County, NJ

Ailurophile - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster ...
ai·lu·ro·phile. noun \ī-ˈlu̇r-ə-ˌfī(-ə)l, ā-\. Definition of AILUROPHILE. : a cat fancier : a lover of cats. Origin of AILUROPHILE. Greek ailouros cat ...
ww

Mar. 23 2011 01:52 PM
Phoebe from Bushwick

my favorite cat expression: It was like herding cats.

Mar. 23 2011 01:51 PM
Effie Serlis from manhattan

What about the English and their insulting use of the word cow to refer to a woman?

Mar. 23 2011 01:51 PM
Kristin Arnesen from Greenpoint

Main Entry: ai·lu·ro·phile
Pronunciation: \ī-ˈlu̇r-ə-ˌfī(-ə)l, ā-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek ailouros cat
Date: 1927
: a cat fancier : a lover of cats

Mar. 23 2011 01:50 PM
Leesha Heard from Jackson, MS

Found on Dictionary.com

ai-lu-ro-phile, also aelurophile - a person who likes cats; cat fancier.

Origin: 1925-30

Mar. 23 2011 01:50 PM
Chuck

Ailurophile
from the Greek for cat
aílouro

Mar. 23 2011 01:50 PM
Ken from Manhattan

A pet peeve of mine is the use of "following" rather than "next" at retail stores. As in saying, when a register is free, "The following customer, please." I'd prefer: "Next customer, please." To me to say following precedes saying a particular customer's name. Do you agree?

Mar. 23 2011 01:50 PM

When did we start using "cat" to refer casually to men? (If it was a reference to prostitutes before, as you said)

Mar. 23 2011 01:50 PM
Bo Young

ailurophile (aɪˈlʊərəˌfaɪl) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

— n
a person who likes cats

[C20: facetious coinage from Greek ailuros cat + -phile ]

ailurophilia

— n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source

Mar. 23 2011 01:50 PM
David from Queens

It's ailurophile - and it's standard. From Greek ailouros, cat.

Mar. 23 2011 01:50 PM
Kate Deshmukh

To the woman who just called in about "ailurophile:"

I just found it online here:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ailurophile

Mar. 23 2011 01:50 PM
Maggie from Manhattan

Ailurophile: Greek origin; a cat fancier

Mar. 23 2011 01:49 PM
John Grieder from Morristown, NJ

On the subject of cat phrases, Ms. O'Conner mentioned the jungle gym, which reminded me that my sister used to do a maneuver on the parallel bar that she called "skinning the cat." She would rotate her body at the shoulders 360 degrees, and it actually looked like peeling the skin off the body of an animal.

If you ever do a segment on apes, we called the jungle gym "monkey bars."

Mar. 23 2011 01:49 PM
art525 from park slope

@Lauren Christy- It's a New York City thing. I grew up two hours out of the city and we said in line. There are a lot of those NYC things-One that comes to mind- there's a Brooklyn thing if you drop something on the street you say you dropped it on the floor.

Mar. 23 2011 01:49 PM
Julia Shield

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ailurophile

Mar. 23 2011 01:49 PM
elaine from li

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ailurophile

Mar. 23 2011 01:49 PM
Maggie from Manhattan

Ailurophile: Greek origin; a cat fancier

Mar. 23 2011 01:49 PM
Tim from New York

here's a definition of ailurophile-comes from greek

...http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ailurophile

Mar. 23 2011 01:49 PM
bent

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ailurophile

Mar. 23 2011 01:49 PM
CL from New york

ailurophile after the Greek ailouros (cat)

Mar. 23 2011 01:49 PM
pamela feiring (firing)

ai·lur·o·phile/īˈlo͝orəˌfīl/
Noun: A cat lover. More »
Dictionary.com - Answers.com - Merriam-Webster - The Free Dictionary

Mar. 23 2011 01:49 PM
David

Ailurophile or ailurophobia, from ailuros, Greek for cat

Mar. 23 2011 01:49 PM
Connie from nj

Ailurophobia is fear of cats.

Mar. 23 2011 01:49 PM
Janet from Manhattan

ailurophile -- lover of cats Webster's 10th

Mar. 23 2011 01:48 PM
hal

ailurophile

Mar. 23 2011 01:48 PM
Troy from Carroll Gardens

Found Ailurophile. Comes from the Greek for cat.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ailurophile

Mar. 23 2011 01:48 PM
sandra from bklyn

Definition of AILUROPHILE - a cat fancier : a lover of cats
Origin of AILUROPHILE - Greek ailouros cat
First Known Use: 1927

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ailurophile

Mar. 23 2011 01:48 PM
Tyler

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ailurophile

Mar. 23 2011 01:48 PM
Bo Young

ailurophile (aɪˈlʊərəˌfaɪl) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

— n
a person who likes cats

[C20: facetious coinage from Greek ailuros cat + -phile ]

ailurophilia

— n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source

Mar. 23 2011 01:48 PM
Patti from NYC

Ailurophobia = fear of cats

Mar. 23 2011 01:48 PM
James Gathings

ailurophile

Mar. 23 2011 01:48 PM

Cabinet is Rhode Island-ese for milkshake. Frappe is milkshake is Salem MA and surrounds.

Mar. 23 2011 01:48 PM
sandra from bklyn

Definition of AILUROPHILE - a cat fancier : a lover of cats
Origin of AILUROPHILE - Greek ailouros cat
First Known Use: 1927

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ailurophile

Mar. 23 2011 01:48 PM
jim macnie from BK

def "jimmies" in RI and other parts of New England. "Cabinets," too, for a blend of ice cream/syrup/milk.
what about standing "in line" vs "on line"? have you guys discussed that yet? i just tuned in.

Mar. 23 2011 01:47 PM
Ellen from nyc

she never heard of 'jimmies'? maybe they are just from RI, but we had 'cabinets' or 'frappes' for milkshakes and 'bubblers' for drinking fountains

Mar. 23 2011 01:47 PM
Tish in New York

Re: Jimmies. I believe the name comes from a family member of the owners of Brigham's, which was once a great ice cream company in Boston. The owner's little boy perhaps?

Mar. 23 2011 01:46 PM
Alan Goldberg from Upper West Side, Manhattan

2 questions:

Do you know the derivation of the phrase "of course?"

And, is it possible that "youse" was once the correct 2nd person plural of "you"?

Thanks very much.

Mar. 23 2011 01:46 PM
Xtina from E. Village

JIMMIES vs. SPRINKLES

It's a regional thing. Jimmies is from the Philadelphia area (I am from Philly and never heard anything else until I moved away).
Sprinkles is used in other geographic regions

Mar. 23 2011 01:46 PM
Lisa Hahn from Glen Rock

Jimmies are used by people in Philie area. My old roommate used that term/NJ Shore term. Up north, it's SPRINKLES!

Mar. 23 2011 01:46 PM
urbangranolagirl from Jersey city

found on a website forum:
According to the Dictionary of American Regional English, "Jimmies" is actually a trademarked term for a brand of candy (not necessarily chocolate) sprinkles, which they explain are "tiny balls or rod-shaped bits of candy used as a topping for ice-cream, cakes and other sweets." Although "Jimmies" is trademarked, my guess is that the term was in generic use for many years prior to the founding of Jimmies as a brand name. And while "jimmies," meaning chocolate sprinkles, first showed up in English around 1947, "jimmies" has also been used since around 1900 as a short form of the old English slang word "jim-jam." "Jim-jam," in turn, has since the 16th century meant "a trivial article or knick-knack," so it's not too great a stretch to see a connection there with candy "jimmies," which are certainly trivial.

Mar. 23 2011 01:46 PM
Andrea from Rockland County

Cats are generally quiet, so letting the cat out of the bag will allow the secret to come out.
or
During the Renaissance if the target cat in the bag got out it would probably be screaming, (the secret is out).

Mar. 23 2011 01:46 PM
Jackie from Manhattan

I suppose this qualifies for today's topic only in cattiness, but I would like to raise a source of great annoyance for me. It of course is appropriate in a voicemail to ask someone to return the call at his or her (tribute to earlier post?) "earliest convenience." This, however, has led far too many young professionals, who, believe, are trying to sound sophisticated and gracious, to say on their outgoing VM messages "I will return your call at my earliest convenience." Aren't they really saying that they will make the return call when they feel like it?

Mar. 23 2011 01:45 PM
Lauren Christy from East Village

I'm from the south and have lived here for over 2 years now and always wonder why people up north say "on line" when waiting and we say "in line" in the south. Thank you!

Mar. 23 2011 01:45 PM
Marylou from Manhattan

Cat's cradle....

When playing the game, the goal is to reach the shape called cat's cradle. It resembles a cat's nose w/ whiskers!

Mar. 23 2011 01:44 PM
Barbara from Madison, NJ

This is pronunciation but:
Why is TOURNAMENT prounounced "ternament" and not the more correct "tournament?"

Mar. 23 2011 01:44 PM
art525 from park slope

In response to alyce from Centerport I'd say there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Mar. 23 2011 01:44 PM
amy from nyc

it's spelled Ghadafi but I hear a lot of people including NPR newscasters say Khadafi. Which is correct, if either, and who decides these kinds of translations?

Mar. 23 2011 01:44 PM
Mort from Warren County, NJ

On "The Bachelor," two of the contestants recently said "Brad and I's relationship." Is this not the most horrendous use of language yet?

Mar. 23 2011 01:43 PM
steve from quns

what about "the cat's meow" as in "who is she, the cat's meow?" or "she's the cat's meow"

Mar. 23 2011 01:43 PM
Tim

Why do Americans use the word 'spit'
"he spit at me" as apposed to spat?

(from an Australian)

Thanks!

Mar. 23 2011 01:43 PM
Dana from Brooklyn

Where does the phrase "cat's got your tongue" come from?

Mar. 23 2011 01:43 PM
Nick from Brooklyn

Just want to balance all this cat talk with one of my favorite expressions: "dog's breakfast" somewhat similar to "what the cat dragged in"?

Mar. 23 2011 01:42 PM
Jennifer from Norwalk

Just this morning my nine-year-old asked me why we say "Scaredy Cat"--any ideas on this one?

Mar. 23 2011 01:42 PM
George from Manhattan

This is not related to cats.
Can you explain to me what does it mean to be "behind the eight ball" and its origin.

Mar. 23 2011 01:42 PM
Nick from Brooklyn

Just want to balance all this cat talk with one of my favorite expressions: "dog's breakfast" somewhat similar to "what the cat dragged in"?

Mar. 23 2011 01:40 PM
Smokey from LES

Why is "w" pronounced double-U. It looks like double-V to me. Double-V-NYC even rhymes!

Mar. 23 2011 01:40 PM
Fozzy from East Village

What is with the New Yorker's use of the Umlaut? It seems to be the only publication that seems to umlaut the "o" on words like "cooperate". I have been noticing this for years and have been meaning to ask: What is the correct use of this Heavy Metal friendly punctuation?

Mar. 23 2011 01:40 PM
Gary Ferdman from High Falls, NY

Why does the term "cat fight" apply to women?

Seems to me, as with chimps, humans and most species, it's male cats who get involved in fights!

Mar. 23 2011 01:39 PM
Judith from Scotch Plains, NJ

Back to "They" vs "their." How would you recommend needing gender neutral terminology

Mar. 23 2011 01:39 PM
Siobhan from Metuchen, NJ

I was taught that "The cat's out of the bag.." was a very old expression from the sea and referred to the cat of nine tails (whip used for punishment on board ships) being taken out of the bag it was kept in when not in use. The expression is normally used in a situation where the truth is outed - and punishment might be imminent....

Mar. 23 2011 01:38 PM
Leah from Brooklyn

Those of us under 40 are tired of using a male third-person pronoun and are manipulating "their" to undo our language's patriarchal ways of refering to an individual.

Mar. 23 2011 01:37 PM
Elizabeth from Forest Hills

Hi. Can you ask her about the phrase, "the reason is because"? I think it's incorrect and I hear it and see it a lot.

Mar. 23 2011 01:36 PM
paulb from Prospect Heights

Patricia,

Have you any opinion on using the word "primary" with several items, as in, "There are three primary reasons for this occurrence." It seems to me "primary" is derived from a word related to "one", so it should be used for one item only.

Thanks!

Mar. 23 2011 01:36 PM
Bill from manhattan

This is a very good question. When did the phrase "That is a very good question" become such a frequent response to hard hitting TV and radio talk show host's inquiries. I look forward to the day when one retorts "Quit sucking up to me and answer the damn question". I look forward to your very good reply.

Mar. 23 2011 01:34 PM
alyce from Centerport, NY

PLEASE HELP! This is not related to cats, but I need an answer for my 12 year old. A driver was tailgating me, and I said 'the car in back of us is ,,,," and my son said, no, that is incorrect- you should say "the car behind us". Yes, his correction sounds better, but is what I said grammatically incorrect? THANKS.

Mar. 23 2011 01:33 PM
Leah from Brooklyn

What about cattywampus?

Mar. 23 2011 01:33 PM
Linda from Manasquan NJ

How about a seal? Not really, but a seal washed up on our beach over the weekend and the "Marine Mammal Stranding" came to rescue it.
Why is it "stranding" instead of "stranded"?

Mar. 23 2011 01:32 PM
anonyme

japanese lucky cats are everywhere - I don't know if there are words about these

Mar. 23 2011 01:32 PM
Paul from UWS

Hello

Would love to know where "the cat's meow" originated. Maybe one of a pleasurable moan.
My Argentian wife is a particular fan when I use it to compliment a great drink or dessert.
thanks

Mar. 23 2011 01:30 PM
Unheard from NYC

Is it "Soo-nami" or "Too-nami"? WNYC seems to have recently adopted the Toonami pronunciation while reporting on the most recent tsunami in Japan. Is the U.S. pronunciation of this word changing?

Mar. 23 2011 01:26 PM
Sara from Staten Island, NY

I grew up saying "kitty corner" in the midwest but I hear other people say "catty corner" for the same idea. Is this a regional difference, and if so, how did it happen?

Mar. 23 2011 01:24 PM
Mark from Mount Vernon

Lately news people use only one pronunication for finance and research -
FY-nance and REE-search. One anchor referred to Bernie Madoff as a FY-nan-seer. Have fih-NANCE and rih-SEARCH been totally abandoned?

Mar. 23 2011 01:20 PM
troy from Carroll Gardens

I'm sure you'll hit on this one, but where does the phrase, 'cat's pajamas' come from? My cat's pajamas seem just as impressive as his evening and day wear. Impressive, but equal.

Mar. 23 2011 12:31 PM
Terence O'dwyer from Billyburg

Going after the intwebs set?

Mar. 23 2011 12:16 PM
Jill from manhattan

This is great timing! I just used the phrase "catty-corner" about an hour ago and wondered to myself where it comes from. I look forward to hearing the answer!

Mar. 23 2011 12:02 PM
Joel from Illinois

Why are words and phrases "coined", but coins aren't?

Mar. 23 2011 11:56 AM

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