Why do people say "She is the cats mother"?
Does anyone know what this really means please?
- H SLv 61 decade agoFavourite answer
It's when you refer to someone as 'she' while they're actually present. The polite thing to do is to refer to them by their name.
'She is the cat's mother' is saying 'you don't use the word 'she' for someone that is present. You would only use 'she' for a person who isn't present, or a creature that doesn't have a name. Your cat probably has a name, so you wouldn't normally use 'she' even for your cat. You might use 'she' for the cat's mother, though, since the cat's mother is probably deceased by now, or maybe you got the cat from somewhere else and the cat's mother was never part of the household.'
That's roughly what 'She is the cat's mother' means, I think, but the reality is, it's just what people traditionally say to rebuke someone for saying 'she' when they should have used the person's name.
- 4 years ago
I must admit I still use the expression even after being 50 years in the US. I was reminded of this when at the debate October 9, Mr. Trump referred to Ms. Clinton as "she". It was very disrespectful. I
- Mona LisaLv 71 decade ago
She's the cat's mother :
A rebuke to someone who refers to a woman as 'she' instead of by her name, either formal or informal. The 'she' in the phrase is the female of a cat, the male being a 'tom', and is not to be applied to a woman when you're in her company.
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- Anonymous4 years ago
Stray Cat Strut and Cat Scratch Fever.
- d_r_sivaLv 71 decade ago
From Eric Partridge, "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases American and British":
'she' is a (or 'the') cat's mother. One of the two or three best-known of the domestic catchphrases, this has, mid (?early) C19-20, been addressed, usually by a parent, to a child, whether very young or teenaged, referring thus to his or her mother. By 1960, slightly ob.
There is a variant.: 'who is "she"? the cat's grandmother?'
In the UK and Australia, this is sometimes used as a rebuke to children who are too free with their pronouns.
Father: "We're almost out of food..."
Boy: "She's gone to the store."
Father: "Who's she? The cat's mother?"
Confusing, eh? (Well to us Americans, anyway.) Apparently in much of the English speaking world, it is impolite to use informal pronouns with people to whom one should show respect -- one's mother, father, aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc. The boy should have said something along the lines of "Mother has gone to the store", or even "Mum's out shopping". But he should not use 'she' to refer to his mother. (My friends and I have never heard of this, so I assume this is not done in America. If any of you Americans have something like this where you live, let me know.)
And where did the cat come from? Well, a male cat is a tom; a female cat is a she, or more often, a she-cat. So, 'she' is for cats. (And Not Your Mother!)
Of course, sometimes one must use the word 'she'; for example, anaphoric uses are okay: "Mom went to the store; she'll be back soon".
Being an idiom, it has a slew of minor variations. It is most often found in it's short form; "She's the cat's mother!". It's also altered to refer to different people to whom one may have insulted. "She's the cat's grandmother" or "She's the cat's aunt". It is also often said in two parts -- "Who's she? The cat's mother!" or "It's not she, she's the cat's mother!"
Apparently this is falling out of usage, as the world mellows. This is something you're more likely to hear from a grandparent than a mother, although I personally think it would be great to annoy siblings and nephews with.
- Anonymous4 years ago
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- 5 years ago
Why dont i see anywhere the phase "He is the cats father"?
If it is for when someone is present, or politness, it should also apply.
I have my suspicions.
- AndreaLv 51 decade ago
Do you mean "...the cat's meow"? If so, that means "outstanding."
- STEVEN♂Lv 41 decade ago
i think when they say that it mean she big or a mamas girl or boy