Posted by Al on August 21, 2003
In Reply to: Cat's Ass posted by Bob on August 20, 2003
: : : : I have currently heard the use of "The Cat's Ass" on American television. I was very surprised since I thought I originated the phrase. I was doing my Ph.D. research in Scotland (late 1980's) when I was introduced to the phrase "the dog's bullocks". I though it was somewhat amusing to reinvent the phrase in an attempt to make a boring Canadian seem more exotic. I came out with the phrase "The Cat's Ass". I have done some research on Network theory and Small world theory and know it would be very quick to propagate a new phrase throughout social circles.Any thoughts.
: : : Hard to say. Since it isn't immediately what they, or you, mean by the term, provenance is shaky. In any case the reward for such creativity is meager at best. Yesterday I invented a word (and checked Google to verify its nonexistence): teletagging. It's a more-economical way to express "playing telephone tag." You and I can exchange hearty handshakes by email, and that will be the sum of our reward.
: : I've never said an original thing in my life. But anyway, here's what one reference says about "cat's a*s."
: : From the "Dictionary of American Regional English," Volume 1 by Frederic G. Cassidy (1985, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and London, England):
: : 1. A snarl or knot in a cable or choker. 1942. 2. used in emphatic denials. 1966. "No. Not by a cat's a*s." 3. self-important. 1967. 4. a hickey - also called a "sucker bite." 1967.
: Oh well. I'm hanging on to "teletagging."
"cat's ass" was an established oil field curse in the late 1950 so it must have been in use as early, or before, the 1942 date listed in the American Regional English.