I saw a funny drawing the other day that reminded me of an idiom we used to use quite often when I was growing up. The saying ‘Cat got your tongue?’ is shorted from the question ‘Has the cat got your tongue?’ The meaning behind the saying is directed at anyone who seems to be at a loss for words and is suspiciously unobtrusive when they are expected to speak.
Yet, I’ve often wondered why a cat? Why not a dog, or squirrel or bird? There are no historical derivations that involve an actual cat. So where does this cliche come from? Who knows? Probably from the same place ‘Straight from the horse’s mouth’, ‘A little bird told me’, ‘When pigs fly’ or ‘Like a bat out of hell’ came from!
Sometimes, we often hear individuals who ‘run their mouths’ way too much and can say some off-colored language that makes you want to tell them to ‘Bite your tongue’ in no uncertain terms. Perhaps you could send a cat after them?