Saturday, April 20, 2019

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

Originally published 9/16/13.

Have you ever stood in your bathroom and thought about all 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:






kitty in feather boa


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, with an 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 the original of this post in 2013, before Me Too. I had NO idea how relevant (in a satirical way) this post would become, five years later, at the time.

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