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Idioms about Cats


  1. a cat may look at a king – someone of low status still has rights
  2. a fraidy/scaredy-cat – a timid/fearful person
  3. all cats are grey in the dark – if the qualities distinguishing people can’t be perceived, they don’t matter
  4. cat burglar – an agile, stealthy, and unnoticed burglar who climbs up walls and through windows to enter buildings
  5. cat call - a shrill shout or whistle expressing either sexual admiration but in a predatory and victimising manner or disapproval
  6. cat got your tongue? – a question posed to someone who remains silent when expected to speak
  7. catnap – a short sleep during the day
  8. copycat – someone who copies another’s behaviour/clothes/ideas/work
  9. curiosity killed the cat – being nosy might get you into trouble
  10. like a cat on a hot tin roof – agitated/anxious
  11. like a scalded cat – very quickly
  12. like herding cats – difficult/impossible
  13. not enough room to swing a cat – very confined
  14. raining cats and dogs – raining heavily
  15. the cat’s whiskers/pyjamas – an excellent person or thing, of the highest quality
  16. there is more than one way to skin a cat – there are multiple ways to achieve your aim
  17. to fight like cats and dogs – to constantly fight
  18. to let the cat out of the bag – to expose a secret
  19. to look like something the cat dragged in – to look dirty or scruffy
  20. to look like the cat that swallowed the canary/stole the cream – to look very pleased/satisfied with oneself
  21. to not have a cat in hell’s chance – to have no chance
  22. to play cat and mouse with (someone) – to use cunning manoeuvres to trick/thwart someone
  23. to see which way the cat jumps – to see what direction something is taking before committing yourself
  24. to set a cat among the pigeons – to cause controversy
  25. when the cat's away, the mice will play – people will always take advantage of the absence of authority to do what they want to

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24 Jul 2017
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