the eighth word herd

Cater-cornered — diagonally placed or four-cornered. (American, 1880s) Kitty-cornered and catty-cornered are more common in actual usage.


Catawampus — an imaginary fierce wild animal or hobgoblin. As an adjective, it means fierce, savage, destructive, askew, or cater-cornered.  (American, 1864) The second element may be related to Scottish “wampish,” which means to “to wriggle or twist.”


Catamount — an old American folk term for a mountain lion (cat-a-mount), arising from the Middle English “cat of the mountain.” (1660s) A mountain cat may also be called a cougar or a puma, or a panther. Here, kitty, kitty!


Catspaw — (1) A person used or controlled by others: a dupe, instrument, pawn, puppet, stooge, tool. (2) A light ripple on a calm sea, indicating the end of the prevailing calm. (3) A hitch knot formed with two eyes for attaching a line to a hook.


Cowabunga — an exclamation used to express delight or satisfaction or amazement. (1950s) The word was first popularized on the US television program Howdy Doody (1947–60). It later became associated with surfing culture and was further popularized by use on the US television cartoon program Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987–96).


  One thought on “the eighth word herd

  1. Lea
    May 12, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    My friend Linnea added to my knowledge by noting that Wikipedia says “cat’s paw” is another name for a nail puller.


  2. Leanne Taylor
    May 16, 2021 at 9:45 am

    I’m also familiar with the tool used for nail-pulling called a “catspaw”.
    … Maybe this is because Linnéa and I are sisters!
    :-)) :-))

    Liked by 1 person

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