Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About | Media | Search | Contact  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Jan 29, 2021
This week’s theme
It’s raining cats & dogs

This week’s words
cynegetic
caterwaul
dogged
canicular
fat cat

fat cat
Cartoon from the Trade Union Unity magazine, Sep 1925. Artist unknown

This week’s comments
AWADmail 970

Next week's theme
Eponyms
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

fat cat

PRONUNCIATION:
(FAT cat)

MEANING:
noun: A rich, privileged person, especially one who influences elections by making contributions to political campaigns.

ETYMOLOGY:
The term was originally used in the 1920s to describe rich political backers in the US elections. Earliest documented use: 1925.

NOTES:
How little things have changed in a hundred years! Here’s how the author Frank R. Kent described a fat cat in the Jun 1928 issue of The American Mercury:
“A Fat Cat is a man of large means and slight political experience who, having reached middle age, achieved success in business, and finding no further thrill, sense, or satisfaction in the mere piling up of more millions, develops a yearning for some sort of public honor, and is willing to pay for it. There are such men in all the states, and they are as welcome to the organization [the party] as the flowers in May. They relieve the pressure all along the line, lighten the load, make life brighter, and better for the busy [political] machine workers. The machine has what the Fat Cat wants, and the Fat Cat has what the machine must have, to wit, money.”

USAGE:
“The cheaper the labor, the less safety measures made for proper handling of materials, the less eco-friendly, the more it pays the rich fat cat owning the company for the most part.”
Samuel Hathy; Journey of the Internal Dermis; AuthorHouse; 2014.

See more usage examples of fat cat in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I find war detestable but those who praise it without participating in it even more so. -Romain Rolland, writer, Nobel laureate (29 Jan 1866-1944)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere

Donate

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2021 Wordsmith