March 16, 2011

Weird Word Wednesday #8

Finally back in action. Let's see, my blog has been stolen from me for the past two weeks, BOTH TIMES by whiny little boys. Nibbler was busy crying about his ample rump and dad was busy whining about how hard life is.

Get over it, boys. Your silliness has put me in a bad mood, and this is the sort of mood that makes me want to pick a really stupid entry for this week's weird word blog. The perfect sort of blog to take it back to where it ought to be - out of the hands of juveniles.

This week's stupid human catchphrase is 'the cat's out of the bag'.

Boy, where to even begin? Some cats like to go into bags, as they make interesting hiding places and are a decent challenge when it comes to feline spelunking. But the whole 'let the cat out' part implies that the cat needs help getting out. First of all, if we ever did need help we surely wouldn't admit to it. Second of all, we never need help in the first place.

Glad we've wrapped that up.

So this phrase must be used to mean that cats have been placed in bags by humans. Well, that sounds like some humans I know, so we'll go with it. This sort of cruelty to felines ought to be stopped dead in its tracks, if you ask me.

I found two historical versions of why a cat needed to be let out of the bag. The first one had to do with unscrupulous practices of people who went to the market a few hundred years ago. The idea there was that they were going to sell piglets at the market, but would try and cheat the system by putting cats in the bags where the piglets go.

Are you kidding me!? A cat going into a bag is bad enough, but one that pigs were in at some point!? I'd like to see someone try and put me in some smelly pig-bag! The only thing pigs are good for is bacon! Well, you can imagine how the stupid phrase of the week was inspired - cats rarely get put in bags involuntarily without making some noise, and they are most certainly not piglet-like.

The other historical version makes me feel a little better. Instead of rudely shoving cats into hog-bags, the phrase 'let the cat out of the bag' was used to mean when a captain of a ship would use what is called a 'cat o'nine tails' on his insubordinates. Basically, it's a whip that is used to make stupid people shut up.

I like the second version better.
Cat o' nine tails

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