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      • Bulgarian
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      • Bulgaria
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    a cat may look at a king/ of the gutter

    Dear teachers,

    Would you tell me whether I am right about my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    …sit down again and be friendly. A cat may look at a king, and even a President of brigands may look at your sister. All this family pride is very old fashion. (B. Show, “Man and Superman”)

    There is an old adage that “a cat may look at a king”. But this can only have been meant to apply to house cats of the palace, accustomed to the etiquette of courts; it cannot have been meant for a proletarian cat of the gutter…. (U. Sinclair, “Jimmie Higgins”)

    Не was looking at Mrs. Anthony, as unabashed as the proverbial cat looking at a King. ( J . Conrad , “Chance”)

    cat may look at king = that is a quote from Alice In Wonderland. Alice told the King Of Hearts when he was having a disagreement with the Cheshire cat that a cat may look at a king that she read in a book that she didn't...

    gutter = a channel along the eaves or on the roof; collects and carries away rainwater, (fig.) misery, squalor

    in the street = in the gutter

    come from the gutter =

    a proletarian cat taken from the gutter

    Thanks for your efforts.


    Last edited by vil; 25-Dec-2010 at 08:20.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • UK
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      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    Re: cat may look at king/ of the gutter

    They're fine, but the expression goes back well before Alice:
    A cat may look at a king

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