Why Do We Say That Someone “Let The Cat Out Of The Bag”?

A wise old man once told me that two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. He didn’t live that long after that. Because of that, I’m a little on edge letting you in on his secret for keeping a confidence. I’d be more concerned about it if I wasn’t pretty sure that smoking had a lot more to do with his demise than telling secrets.

If two living people have a secret and one of them reveals the secret we often say that person “let the cat out of the bag”. Let’s explore why we might say that.

Don’t Get Caught Holding That Bag

Unless the secret is “I have a cat in this bag, don’t tell anyone”, we can say with confidence that the bag and cat situation is a metaphor for telling a secret.  It is an unfortunate metaphor that, I imagine, came from someone who’d been involved in such a despicable act.

Putting a cat in a bag is cruel and wrong. I’d suppose that getting the cat’s co-operation isn’t easy; someone who’d do such a thing deserves whatever damage their cat might inflict while they’re putting it in to a bag. But the image of a frustrated and confused feline rocketing out of that bag pretty accurately represents the energy of being shocked by a big secret being told. Read the rest of this entry »


2012, the end of the world…or maybe it happens when my watch stops.

A new film coming out later this year dramatizes the idea, put forth by some people with unusual thought patterns, that the world will end in 2012. The movie works on the idea that the Mayan calendar ends that year. Calendar runs out, world runs out.

According to the Mayan Calendar, my birthday is Fish, Leopard,Guy With His Tongue Out. Try to remember to send a card.

If you want to read about the Mayan calendar, here is Wikipedia’s information on it. If you don’t want to read about the Mayan calendar, I can just tell you, it doesn’t end. Ever. So, if the world will end when that calendar runs out, the world can never end. Read the rest of this entry »