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Cat

  • 17-12-2004 6:21pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 10,737 ✭✭✭✭ simu


    Have you heard this word being used meaning "bad" in English?

    Example: "That's cat".

    I've only heard people using it in Irish but I don't think it's really an Irish (language) word. Any ideas?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,384 ✭✭✭✭ Stark


    I've heard it used, I thought they were saying "that's cack". Either way, it's just a slang word.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,049 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    I've heard it and thought it was more a Cork word than an Hiberno-English word.

    And more "terrible" than "bad"

    Mary: "John's father died."
    Peter: "Oh, thats bad."
    Mary: "His mother only died six weeks ago."
    Peter: Oh, thats cat all together."


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,316 Talliesin


    You used to only hear it in the North, but it's spread since. It's a contraction of "catastrophic", probably influenced by it sounding close to "cack".


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,330 ✭✭✭✭ Amz


    I've only really heard it and used it when describing heavy traffic ...

    i.e. "The traffic is cat"

    Wouldn't ever use it in another context and haven't heard anyone outside my own family use it.

    *shrug*


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 sionnach


    it's used all the time in mayo in english conversation, can't recall hearing it used in irish conversation :s


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,330 ✭✭✭✭ Amz


    I remember hearing an extended version before, if that makes sense?

    Catmalodian (I just made up the spelling)

    "The traffic was catmalodian"

    It would seem my family spends a lot of time in the car.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,374 pwd


    heard it a fair bit in waterford.
    naturally assumed it was cos of that annoying dummy catherine who liked to be called cat.
    she would have made a good swear word tbh


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,737 ✭✭✭✭ simu


    Amz wrote:
    I remember hearing an extended version before, if that makes sense?

    Catmalodian (I just made up the spelling)

    "The traffic was catmalodian"

    It would seem my family spends a lot of time in the car.

    What a cool sounding word!

    I wonder if it has anything to do with the word "mellodian" (a music box)?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 32,221 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The_Conductor


    simu wrote:
    Have you heard this word being used meaning "bad" in English?

    Example: "That's cat".

    I've only heard people using it in Irish but I don't think it's really an Irish (language) word. Any ideas?

    Not in Irish but as an anglicisation- as in "thats ceait"
    Don't think its a Cork thing- we (family members) use it all the time.
    Always pronounce it as in Irish though - not as "cat"- but "ceait".

    Its actually an old English expression- meaning to refer to a person or object with contempt. An example of this would be from Shakespear's "All's Well That Ends Well" - "A pox upon him for me, he’s more and more a Cat"

    Shane


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,316 Talliesin


    smccarrick wrote:
    Its actually an old English expression- meaning to refer to a person or object with contempt. An example of this would be from Shakespear's "All's Well That Ends Well" - "A pox upon him for me, he’s more and more a Cat"
    That doesn't match how "cat" is being used here.

    My theory that it's a contraction of "catastrophic" is leant some credence by the fact that its use once went hand in hand with describing something as "cat. A. strop. IC" with the word stretched in mock melodrama. Of course this is hardly concrete proof, nor discounts there being more than one source.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 32,221 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The_Conductor


    Talliesin wrote:
    That doesn't match how "cat" is being used here.

    My theory that it's a contraction of "catastrophic" is leant some credence by the fact that its use once went hand in hand with describing something as "cat. A. strop. IC" with the word stretched in mock melodrama. Of course this is hardly concrete proof, nor discounts there being more than one source.

    To use the term in a contemptous manner- is exactly how we use it. E.g. the traffic is ceait, the way her makeup looks as ceait etc. We don't use it, as you suggest, in a manner akin to mock melodrama- its an expression to describe an object as ridiculous, stupid, vile, loathing- not amiss from that description of Shakespear's day. Thus, depending on its use, it can take many forms, including noun, verb or adjective- depending on use.

    I could look up more antique uses of the word, but quite frankly, I don't feel like it.

    As an aside- did you know that the Thai for cat is "mee-o" (เมี้ยว (mee-o)) ..... (not joking).

    Shane


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 32,953 Mod ✭✭✭✭ pickarooney


    It's short for ' cat melodeon', a reference to a cacophony reminiscent of a feline in heat combined with a badly-played squeezebox, and applied to all things of an equally unpleasant nature.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 10,500 Mod ✭✭✭✭ ecksor


    I heard a chap from Bedford use the word in that way a couple of days ago.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 87,691 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight


    Me, I always thought it was just short for catastrophic,


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 125 ✭✭ weak infant


    Dad + grandad use it all the time. Asked em and it is in reference to a badly played bosca ceol sounding like a cat thas being interfered with. (grandads words, god bless is senile rantings) :D


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