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#124888 03/09/04 03:37 PM
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I ran across the term "catercorner" in my current read ~ and that's the first I've seen of that word. I knew instantly what he meant, but I've only heard "cattycorner" or "kittycorner". Is this a regionalism? How did felines come to be associated with diagonal crossings?


#124889 03/09/04 03:47 PM
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wwh Offline
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Dear FB: here's what I found:
The first element of the word, "cata," is probably related to "cater," also found in the related word "catercorner" (or, as many folks know it, "cattycorner" or "kittycorner"). "Cater" in these words is an Anglicization of the French "quatre," or "four," and "catercornered" originally just meant "four-cornered." To specify that something is "catercorner across" from something else is to stress the diagonal axis of an imaginary box, as opposed to saying "directly across" or just "across." Both "catercorner" and "catawampus" are native American colloquialisms dating back to the 1880's or earlier


#124890 03/09/04 03:52 PM
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Of course - cater -> quatre! Why didn't I think of that? I'm still curious about the introduction of the feline element...

And "catawampus" (or as my mom always said it "cattywampus") makes total sense in that context too... You're a star, Bill!


#124891 03/09/04 05:01 PM
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Yup, JW, I have to agree, Bill's some kinda star. A red dwarf comes to mind ...


#124892 03/09/04 07:00 PM
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Now, Pfranz, don't be such a smeghead about the Doc. After all, every ship has to have its Rimmer.


#124893 03/09/04 07:22 PM
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Yeah, but while he's listering to starboard I can't help listering into the port ...


#124894 03/09/04 07:36 PM
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wwh Offline
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On the Hertzsprung-Rusell diagram, a red dwarf holds a position quite superior to that of a pair of brown dwarfs.


#124895 03/09/04 08:37 PM
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meanwhile, (ignoring all the petty bickering below!) this came up years ago. so if you are adventurous, or brave, or have a couple of hours to spare, you could search for catty corner, or kittycorner, in threads at least 2 years back, and find a lively discussion.

i am almost sure it was in Q & A, but it could have been in word play, or misc. a quick way to date it is to see when you joined, since it was before your time, (but after mine!) that might be only a few months of threads to look through!


#124896 03/09/04 08:47 PM
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Oh, I was sure it had been discussed before, whether before I joined or during my hiatus ~ but I figured it would either generate some interesting discussion or provide Pfranz an opportunity to pick on Bill, one. Or both.


#124897 03/09/04 09:14 PM
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I am concerned that suggesting that new members should read
all the old posts, or that they should always search before they post, may contribute to driving new members away,
and discouraging oldtimers from returning.


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