Playful Language: Smith’s Cat

One of the great joys of (multiple) languages is, of course, the discovery of new expressions, words, metaphors, etc.

I don’t know if German is particularly rich in funny expressions, but I certainly enjoy them.

Recently, my dad’s cousin (thus some kind of cousin to me) was talking about a fast car. What he said was “Der geht ab wie Schmidt’s Katze” [It’s off like Smith’s cat]. WHAT?

Apparently, a common saying and I’m not sure that it’s regional or why I wouldn’t have heard it before. The etymological explanation seems to be that Smith is referring to a, er, smith. Cats are apparently particularly skittish around the sound of a hammer beating an anvil, or perhaps the cat has got its tail caught under the hammer in the past…

So, the next time I intercept a ball playing hockey, my ambition will be to be off like Smith’s cat.

Oh, and Gage spotted a restaurant by this name in town as well.



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