Friday, April 18, 2008

Cat on the wall


While having a conversation with a colleague I mentioned I was "cat on the wall" when it came to making a decision on the matter we were discussing. This colleague of mine was an English major and he had a puzzled look on his face. I patiently explained to him that this was a popular adage used to imply indecisiveness as in the cat was capable of jumping on either side of the wall. He said he had been exposed to a number of adages and he had never come across this. Determined to prove him wrong I searched for the phrase on the web but the number of search hits on both google and yahoo were paltry at best. Yahoo! provided the answer from its question answer service which made me ponder if this phrase possibly has its roots in Tamil I realized that this could be because this probably had its origins in tamil "madhil mel poonai". Have you heard the phrase "cat on the wall" ?

2 comments:

Lak said...

only "fly on the wall" to indicate invisible observer.

"on the fence" itself indicates indecisiveness.

I've never heard the expression "cat on the wall" either in Tamil or English.

Bharath said...

There is the same saying in Telugu too, so may be its from the region.