Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thursday Trivia: Having Kittens!

Have you ever heard this phrase?

"Oh, he's going to have kittens over this when he finds out about it!" Meaning somebody's going to get real upset.

But why kittens? After all, there's nothing cuter, so why associate fuzzy adorableness with a reaction to upsetting news?

Kittens! (Photo: Public Domain)


According to the site Cat-ch Phrases, “In medieval times it was believed that if a pregnant woman was in pain, she had been cursed by a witch and had kittens inside clawing at her belly. Witches, they believed, could control cats, and could eliminate the kittens. Since a woman believing she was going to give birth to a litter of kittens would become hysterical, the phrase has, over time, come to mean being in an angry panic.”

Phrases.org tells us this superstition originated in Scotland and was documented as late as 1654 in a court case where a woman accused of trying to get an abortion used as her defense the excuse that she had 'cats in her bellie.'

So there you have it!
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Sources:
Cat-ch Phrase
Phrases.org:  from "How Did It Begin?" by R. Brasch (Pocket Books, New York, 1966)


16 comments:

  1. Wow that is a strange one. Have a terrific Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  2. huh....interesting. mom says that grandma is gonna "have a cow" when she does something that will make grandma nuts.

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  3. We come a long way baby!! Heehee.


    the critters in the cottage xo

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  4. My goodness...what news THAT was and by the way, that kitten is so adorable mom said she almost felt fainty.

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  5. Mommy has always wondered how that phrase came about...well, now she knows!

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  6. Awww....how could anything so adorable and innocent get all wrapped up with "an angry panic".....that little innocent face is priceless! I oughta know - I looked like that 13 years ago!

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

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  7. only the peeps could come up with something a stupid as that

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  8. But the kittens would have been so much easier to raise!

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  9. Very interesting piece of trivia. Thanks for sharing. Purrs and hugs from the kitties at The Cat on My Head, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

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  10. Never would have guessed that one on our own!

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  11. Well! Who knew! Me has always wondered.....
    Kisses
    Nellie

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  12. Now, that is weird! And my human thinks kittens would be way more awesomer to have than human babies.

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  13. Hmm, I think we have ENOUGH kittens here already *glaring at Hammy*

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  14. I love reading your blog - I learn something new every time I visit!

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