Results 1 to 2 of 2
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Feb 2013
    • Posts: 1,506
    #1

    As a candidate for folk etymology goes the 'cat o' nine tails' story has it all?

    Hello again!

    Whether the 'cat' was a real moggy or the flail-like whip used to punish sailors in the British Navy isn't clear. Many reports claim that the cat in question is the 'cat o'nine tails'. As so often though, they don't supply evidence, just certainty. As a candidate for folk etymology goes the 'cat o' nine tails' story has it all - plausibility, a strong storyline and a nautical origin. That's enough to convince many people - the actual evidence shows the theory to be highly dubious. The phrase itself dates from at least the 17th century. Richard Kephale's Medela Pestilentiae, 1665:

    In my opinion, the bolded sentence in italics is wrongly formulated. It shoud read like:

    either

    As far as a candidate for folk etymology goes, the 'cat o' nine tails' story has it all (meaning as far as a candidate for folk etymology is concerned. ......).

    or

    As a candidate for folk etymology, the 'cat o' nine tails' story has it all.

    The corrected sentences are similar in meaning. I may be mistaken.

    What is your opinion on that?

    Thank you.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #2

    Re: As a candidate for folk etymology goes the 'cat o' nine tails' story has it all?

    Yes, the original is incorrect. Your fixes work better. You could also say "As for being a candidate for folk etymology...".

    This excerpt appears to be describing the origin of the idiom "not enough room to swing a cat".

Similar Threads

  1. "A cat of nine tails"
    By Odessa Dawn in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 22-Feb-2013, 21:25
  2. Grand folk?
    By bud-bar in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 15-Feb-2012, 00:29
  3. funky art folk
    By Tinkerbell in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 30-Sep-2009, 12:47
  4. a cat-o'-nine-tails.
    By blouen in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 25-Jul-2007, 22:50
  5. should old folk send to old folk house?
    By shreky87 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-May-2005, 07:32

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •