HomeCat HistoryOrigin of the Word ‘Cat’

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Origin of the Word ‘Cat’ — 2 Comments

  1. I wonder what the OED has to say on the earliest usage of the word “cat” in the English language. I’ve never looked up such a simple word in there before. I last looked up kidney to see which came first, the kidney or the bean, (it was the organ, not the bean which came into the language first) and I looked up “bubbler” which is what we call a drinking fountain here in Milwaukee. It was in there. Naughty words are fun to look up in the OED, because often they didn’t start out with vulgar connotations, but were in every day usage. So I wonder when the words meow and cat first appeared in writing in the English language? If you don’t look it up, Michael, maybe I will if I ever manage to get to a library again. You have to pay to access the entire Oxford English Dictionary online and I’ve never felt like forking over the money when I can use the hard copy version (all 21 volumes or so) in the library.

    • Good idea Ruth. I would be nice to add a bit more to this to put some more detail on the development of the word. I’ll have a look at that.

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