She is the cats mother. What is the meaning/origin off this saying?

People used to say it a lot when I was a child. If I was talking about someone and referring to them as "she" even though that person was within ear shot of the conversation. I gathered that it was rude to refer to them as "she" when they were standing right next to me, but I never understood this saying and how it relates to this situation.

Update:

Sorry not off, of this saying!!

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  • Kathy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    She's the cat's mother - A rebuke

    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.

    Apparently, as children, it is a sign of disrespect to call your mother or female elder 'she'. You are supposed to address them by their proper name such as 'Mother' or 'Aunt' or 'Mrs.' or 'Miss'.

  • 1 decade ago

    '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?': late C19-mid C20.

    http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/17/messag...

    she the cat's mother is what you say if someone is calling somebody else she instead of their given name.

    It's 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.

    http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/43/messag...

  • 4 years ago

    My mum said this but I've never of of a female cat being called 'she'. We all know a female dog is a *****, so why isn't she used? I've also heard that a cat is a molly or queen.

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