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  Fact of the day July 8th 2005

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Author Topic:   Fact of the day July 8th 2005

Posts: 1004
From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 07-08-2005 03:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How the saying "letting the cat out of the bag" came about.

In ye old times to buy your meat at it's most fresh aka chicken you normally bought it still alive already in a bag from the market. But sneeky sellers would sometimes try to cheat the housewives by putting a stray cat inside instead so they could save money. When the housewife got home she would open the bag to kill the animal aka a chicken and instead the cat would jump out and so the truth presented itself when the cat appeared and they buyer would see that they have been cheated and that the truth is presented. It is with this that the saying comes from "letting the cat out of the bag"


Rob Joyner

Posts: 1292
From: GA, USA
Registered: Jan 2004

posted 07-10-2005 12:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And the sister story...
"Never buy a pig in a poke."
A 'poke' is a southern word for a bag or sack. As Gareth indicated above, some would substitute a cat in the sack instead of a pig.
If the buyer was thinking at the time of sale they would not just buy a 'pig in a poke', but open the sack sometimes to find they had 'let the cat out of the bag'!

All times are CT (US)

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