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History Time

Where did the phrase “Let the Cat out of the bag,” originate?

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6 guesses to History Time


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  • to tell someone something you should have kept quiet . you let the cat out of the bag.

  • Yes, but …

    Where did the phrase “Let the Cat out of the bag,” originate?

  • it started in america, with a slip of lip , telling the truth.

  • Great answers, but not what we’re looking for.

    What we’re looking for here is: Why does “let the cat out of the bag” indicate a slip of the lip? Why not a “dog out of the box” or a “giraffe out of the keg?”

    Why exactly do we use the phrase: “Cat out of the Bag?”

  • karma6x3

    I’m not sure if we really know, there is numerous versions.

    from the medieval England Market, where one would attempt to sell a pig and switch the pig for a cat in a bag. and if the buyer would look inside. they’d see the cat. “Let the Cat out of the bag,”

    Another version is the cat-o-nine tails. it’s said they stored in a bag, and when they brought it out they “Let the Cat out of the bag,”

    whether or not any of this are true. but these are the best answers we got.

    “History is a myth that men agree to believe” – Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Dude

    Those are the two versions we had, as well.

    For more details, visit: http://www.snopes.com/language/phrases/catbag.asp

    Karma, you’re today’s winner.