Potato is keeping herself warm.

For this week’s special at Connect Eikaiwa (コネクト英会話西船橋), let’s take a look at 10 idioms and phrases that people normally use in English that deal with cats.

I just got up from my catnap and I’m ready to write this blog. I’m looking at my cats Tatter Tot and Potato for inspiration and they just go ‘meow’-ing for food. One minute, they are the best paper weights, and the next, they go scattering paper all over the floor. Ehh…

  1. A cat has nine lives– cats are very strong and can survive in stressful or near death situations.

Ex: Jane: Aren’t you worried that your cat’s been missing for over a week?

Phil: It’s not his first time he went missing. The cat has nine lives.

     2.   The cat’s out of the bag– a secret was revealed.

Tater Tot enjoying some lemongrass I tried to replant.

Ex: Mike: I heard that you and Jane broke up last week.

Harry: I didn’t want to talk about it, but since the cat’s out of the bag…

     3.   Cat got your tongue?– used to express how the other person is not responding or speaking

Ex: Phil: Did you break my favourite coffee mug?

John: Um…. Um…..

Phil: Cat got your tongue? I’ll take that as a ‘Yes.’ Just buy me a new one.

     4.   Copycat– a person that copies another person’s actions.



Bill: Mom, Ted is being a copycat.

Mom: Stop it, both of you!!

    5.   Scaredy Cat or Fraidy Cat: someone that is easily afraid of something.

Ex: Bill: I dare you to kiss Karen later.

Ted: No way! Why would I want to?

Bill: Scaredy Cat! Scaredy Cat!

    6.   When the cat is away, the mice will play– when no one is watching, people will do bad things.

Ex: Mike: The boss just left the office!!! Wheee!!! Youtube…

George: Typical. When the cat is away, the mice will play.

    7.   Cool cat– a person that keeps up with the trends and fashion.

Ex: Mike: You like my new clothes. I just bought them yesterday.

Tom: Wow. Look at you. You’re such a cool cat.

    8.   Look at what the cat dragged in– when someone appears to a place looking in a poor condition.

Ex: Jerry: Look at what the cat dragged in. What happened to your clothes?

Phil: A man tried to rob me so I fought him, but I lost…badly.

    9.   Curiosity killed the cat– experimenting on or investigating into something without need can bring trouble.

Ex: Tom: I found my sister’s diary. I wonder what she writes about.

Jerry: Curiosity killed the cat. And she might just kill you.

10. It’s raining cats and dogs– it’s raining very hard. *This phrase is rarely used today but it’s good to know.

Ex: Phil: Look at the weather outside. It’s coming down hard!

Grandma: Yeah… It’s raining cats and dogs.

Tater Tot cooling off from the hot weather.

I must say #9 is my favorite because I hear it so often. Which one is your favorite? Write us at Connect Eikaiwa (コネクト英会話西船橋) to give us your best example of one of the idioms or phrases.

2 thoughts on “Cat That Has Your English Tongue: 10 Idioms That Makes a Good Fe-Line

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