Nobody likes a copy cat! Words, set phrases and idioms with the word "cat"

Cats are one of the most searched subjects on the Internet. So, for all those feline lovers out there,I thought we'd look at all the words and expressions related to cats. Here it goes!

1. Words which include CAT

Okay, so these don't really have anything to do with the animal but it's simple way to start.

CATastrophe CATegory CATering CATalonia advoCATe abdiCATe

Can you think of any more?


2. Set phrases with cats to describe people

Which one are you?

The copy cat

A copy cat is one of those annoying people who, through a lack of knowledge or creativity, copies your work and tries to pass it off as their own, using your achievements to their advantage. We've all met one.

The cool cat

Quite the opposite of the copy cat, in urban English, this is a person who's super cool.

The scaredy-cat

A person who is often shy, gets frightened easily or is unable to face their fears. Also referred to as achickenin English.

The fat cat

Someone who's high up in the business world and normally extremely wealthy.

The crazy cat

In colloquial English, this is someone who does strange or outragious things.

The cat lady

This lady has nothing to do with the superhero Catwoman, but could be considered equally heroic. She's stereotypically a woman living alone who adores cats. She rescues them, often helps to re-house them and usually has many cats living with her at any given time.


3. Cat idioms and expressions

I've included theliteralSpanish translations to help you understand them! A few of them translate directly into Spanish.

Cat got your tongue?

"¿Te ha comido la lengua el gato?"

Like with the Spanish idiom, we ask someone this when they're too shy to speak or can't get their words out.

Look what the cat dragged in

"Mira lo que ha traído el gato"

Referring to the dead animals that cats bring home after hunting. This is a derogatory phrase used to comment on someone's arrival.Eg. (Mother says to child) Look what the cat dragged in! Where have you been for the past 3 hours and why are you covered in mud?

Note: only use this on people who you know well to be humorous. Otherwise, it may cause offense. Obviously, if that's the intention, then you can use it on people you don't like.

To let the cat out of the bag

"Dejar salir al gato de la bolsa"

This is to tell a secret. Often one which was supposed to be kept hidden.

Look like the cat who swallowed the canary

"Parecerse al gato que se comió el canario"

This reminds me of Sylvester and Tweety. It's used to describe when someone looks extremely proud of themselves.

To be having kittens

"Estar pariendo gatitos"

Tobeworried or very nervous about something. Eg. She's having kittens about her English exam tomorrow.

To be raining cats and dogs

"Estar lloviendo gatos y perros"

This is a very British idiom meaning to be rainig heavily.

A cat has nine lives

"Un gato tiene nueve vidas"

Yes, in English cats have more lives! This expression refers to the fact that a cat can survive things that would seriously injure or kill a human, like landing on all four paws when jumping from a great height.

Curiousity killed the cat

"La curiosidad mató al gato"

This is a warning about being too curious, as it just might get you into trouble.

Not a cat in hell's chance

"El gato no tiene ninguna oportunidad en el infierno"

Highly unlikely, if not impossible.

There's more than one way to skin a cat

"Hay más de una manera de despellejar un gato"

I've no idea how this idiom came into being, but it's quite self-explanatory. It means that there's more than one way of doing or achidving something.

There's not enough room to swing a cat

"No hay suficiente espacio para lanzar un gato"

Again, this is another weird one meaning that a place has very little room. Either because the space is very small or because it's crowded. I don't advise using a cat as a test!

I hope you've enjoyed the cat expressions. As always, feel free to comment with any cat-inspired ideas. Remember, if you're going to be a copy cat, make sure you get the author's permission to re-publish their work first, or simply give them the credit they deserve.

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