Cover image for Cool cats, top dogs, and other beastly expressions
Cool cats, top dogs, and other beastly expressions
Ammer, Christine.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
It's raining cats and dogs--and other beastly expressions
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., [1999]

Physical Description:
v, 266 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
General Note:
Originally published: It's raining cats and dogs--and other beastly expressions. 1st ed. New York : Paragon House, 1989.

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PE1583 .A46 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Our language is filled with animal expressions, many of them so familiar that we rarely stop to wonder where they came from or when they first appeared. Cool Cats, Top Dogs, and Other Beastly Expressions tells the stories of more than one thousand beastly words and phrases in fascinating and highly informative essays that you will turn to again and again. So whether you're "crowing over your accomplishments" or "going to the dogs", feeling "happy as a clam" or "madder than a wet hen", you're sure to enjoy this entertaining look at the animal expressions that color and enliven our everyday language.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

YA-This book delves into the meanings and origins of some 1200 English expressions referring to animals. Most readers should find it impossible to resist a good browse through its nine sections covering words, phrases, and folklore related to cats, dogs, barnyard fowl, farm animals, wild animals, birds, reptiles, insects, and water creatures. The literate and lively text both informs and entertains as it gives sources and offers examples of many common expressions that are widely used but, too often, are no longer thoroughly understood. Whether the origins of the terms are found in other languages, in memorable literary phrases that caught on, in old beliefs about the nature of animals themselves, from the Bible ("scapegoat"), or from the barnyard ("ruminate"), readers will gain a new appreciation for the richness and playfulness of the English language. Those needing to ferret out the meaning of a particular expression can look it up in the index. Hot dog!-Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. v
Quick as a Catp. 1
A Dog's Lifep. 15
Barnyard Fowlp. 33
Farm Animals: In Barn and Meadowp. 55
The Wild: In Field and Forestp. 95
Birds of a Featherp. 151
Slithery Slimy Creepy Crawlers: Reptiles, Amphibians, and Lesser Creaturesp. 195
Buzzing About: The Bugs and the Beesp. 213
Water Sprites: Fish and Other Denizens of the Deepp. 237
Indexp. 255