phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

'The Cat's t i t s'

Posted by Arobba on March 31, 2005

In Reply to: 'The Cat's t i t s' posted by ESC on March 30, 2005

: : Does anyone know what it means or where the expression comes from?

: : I heard it for the first time today but apparently a few people have heard it before.

: I am guessing that this is a descendant of the following:

: From Listening to America: An Illustrated History of Words and Phrases from Our Lively and Splendid Past by Stuart Berg Flexner:

: "For 'great' (in the 20s) we have: the cat's pajamas, remarkable, first used around 1920, when pajamas were still somewhat shockingly new...similar expressions...the duck's quack, 1920; the bee's knees, the clam's garters, the elephant's wrist, the eel's ankles, the gnat's elbow, all 1923 the elephant's arches and the sardine's whiskers, both 1924; the bullfrog's beard, the cuckoo's chin, the leopard's stripes, the pig's wings, the snake's hips, and the tiger's spots, all 1925."
That was my first thought but, if so, it's not mentioned anywhere that I've been able to find

I'm leaning towards the view that it's a a recent expression akin to 'The Dog's Bollocks' ('the mutt's nuts' is the US version I believe) meaning something that is very good/superior although I have also heard 'The Cat's t i t s' used in regard to something that is so small as to be useless.

See: the meaning and origin of the phrase "the bee's knees".

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