Monday, September 16, 2013

The Curious ("Colorful"?) English Meanings of Words We Use for Dogs and Cats

Have you ever stood in your bathroom and thought about the different words we use in English for dogs and cats? No? Well, I have, so no worries. 

Don't ask me what sparked it (I can't remember), the point is, if one starts with the basic English words "dog," "cat," "puppy" and "kitten," and continues to list derivations of these words, one could possibly be left with some interesting questions to ponder. 

See if you agree:







Things that make me go hmm:

<> Was "catty" ever a term of endearment?
<> Would dogs call other dogs catty?
<> Would cats call other cats dogs?
<> Why is English so dumb sometimes?

P.S. The "catty" photo caption is a modified pop culture reference. 25 (brag) points to the first person who can correctly say from where! (Fine, it's Mean Girls-25 points for all!)

* IMPORTANT UPDATE: It occurs to me that a (sort of, but with am added "naughty/bad-girl," connotation) synonym for the term "catty" is "hussy" (defined HERE, Google, and HERE), which, if one were trying to use covertly--perhaps to sell something, could change to "husky," which is, in fact, a dog breed. Point being, let's give credit to both cats and dogs for the female slang terms that we've all come to appreciate, mostly, in a lighthearted** way. 😉

** Lighthearted, in a sarcastic way, if you prefer, or not. I mean, it depends on the context of how the slang word is used, and who's saying it, and to whom, right? (My gosh, I wrote this post in 2013, before Me Too. I had NO idea how relevant (in a satirical way) this post would be at the time.


  1. The sales girl in Mean Girls after Regina doesn't fit into her dress:)

    1. Commence the bragging, @Susan! That was one of my favorite scenes in the movie. :) (Shame on me.) Thanks for taking the time to reply!

  2. I laughed out loud when I got to that catty photo. Too funny. (I didn't know the reference though... was going to guess Bridgett Jones or Devil Wears Prada, even though I knew those weren't right!)

  3. BOL funny but no idea where it is from. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  4. The heck with the English... I'm too in love with the photos... especially the puppy pix :-)

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  6. Classically cute, Elizabeth, and way to go Susan! What often cracks me up is when people ask if Brychwyn is a corgi dog (which is like asking if he is a dog dog, right?) I wonder if welsh has a word for doggy... corgiy?

    1. :) Here, corgee corgee! (That's just plain too hard to say.) In French (which I took in school), dog is le chien. Who knows what they convert that to! Perhaps English doesn't suck so bad, after all. :)

  7. English is just plain weird and confusing but the photos are crystal clear and cute!

  8. beautiful photos! text amusing! Have a great day!

  9. Great photos! So true about what we call them. Usually catty is used to describe certain girls we all know. Some guys too!


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