Etymiology of the word CAT.

Essay by wfan99College, UndergraduateA+, December 2005

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Have you ever thought to yourself how many meanings a word could have? Not even a complex word, but an everyday word. An example of one such word would be cat. Nowadays when someone uses the word cat it is likely that they are just referring to the cuddly feline pet that many people have in their homes. However the word cat itself has branched of into many tangents to give us many different meanings of the word. The roots of cat can be found in Latin with the word cattus. As the languages developed cat hung on with Old North French cat, which is a variation of Old French, chat later to be influenced by the Old English form of it which was in both masculine and feminine forms and was spelled catt & catte.

Surprisingly enough the word cat has been used in developing boating terminology. A catboat for example is a boat with a single sail that is usually rigged on a hooked line.

Another example would be a catamaran which is a type of boat with two parallel hulls. The probable reason for this frequency of the word cat showing up in boating terms most likely can find its origins in the southern parts of America. Louisiana and Georgia for example have a seafood delicacy known as catfish. The two boats mentioned above are used primarily for fishing and traveling through swampy areas such as the bayous of the south.

In a more contemporary sense the word cat began to develop its slang usages around the 1920s and 30s with the emergence of jazz. The term "cool cat" and "cat" became a part of regular vocabulary for jazz enthusiast. The term "fat cat" also emerged around this time to describe people who were wealthy and had...