She’s the cat’s mother…

12 04 2008

Ah mother England.. I knew that one had to come from the English roots as all my friends with ‘full’ North American backgrounds have never even heard the phrase.  I remembering it all the time when I was a kid… and I always thought it was silly as fuck.. but one didn’t argue in my house.  Especially not with my grandparents.  I just saw it in a tv show (old English “are you being served”) and thought I would look it up.

Turns out :

In the UK and Australia, this is sometimes used as a rebuke to children who are too free with their pronouns.

Sample usage:
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!)

😀 ha who knew… I still think it’s silly but at least that explains where it came from.

 

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5 responses

14 04 2008
anonymous

what I find funny is that the same thing was said to you growing up grandma would have your head if you said she to a female relative that was older then you. It was one of those bitch things we love about her.
love mom

24 04 2008
silverblu

Sheesh. That made my brain hurt.

24 04 2008
magdalicious

lol why?

24 04 2008
silverblu

Because I really had to think about that one and how it made sense. Ouch.

24 04 2008
magdalicious

DUDE you got it to make sense??? I still think it’s redicumalous! lol

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