Thursday, February 25, 2010

Guest Blogger - Katz Tales talks about foodie phrases

Chill baby, it's Au the Cat taking over the blog today

For the first time ever, I would like to welcome a guest blogger aka Katz Tales whom I share a common interest with, our love for kitty cats especially ginger ones and food. Ellen from Katz Tales writes a column in the Star Weekender and is also a published author for two books - Katz Tales and Logomania, books that I am giving away to two lucky winners. Scroll down below for the questions and try your luck in winning these great books.

I've been enjoying Boo's culinary adventures at Masak-Masak for years, so I'm really chuffed to be guest blogging today.

I am a fulltime writer. One of my favourite occupations is discovering the origin and meaning of popular phrases. I also love to eat, so here are three phrases and their origins.

To look as if butter wouldn't melt in your mouth

To look deceptively innocent.

This proverb was brought into English from the French. It first appeared in print in 1530 but has much older roots. It's origins are shrouded in mystery.

The expression is often used to describe naughty children who look angelic, and viragos who can put on the sweet-little-me act when necessary. However, the phrase should not be used in the sense of having a sweet nature; it refers exclusively to people who disguise their wicked nature with a pleasant mask.

Example: Lucy may look like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, but she has a wicked sense of humour.

Like a cat that got the cream

Katz Tales by Ellen Whyte Book sample chapter

Someone who is self-satisfied or smug.

Someone who is self-satisfied or smug.

This phrase blends several ideas into one snappy idiom. First, cats are said to love milk, especially the rich cream that floats to the top. Second, cats are known to be somewhat manipulative. Third, cats can adopt a very superior look. Cat lovers say this is because cats remember the time when they were worshipped as gods; cat critics say it's because cats are naturally snobby and aloof.

As cream was traditionally reserved for the rich or privileged, any kitty who managed to get a bowl for itself would be particularly pleased with itself. Get the picture?

Example: Having snared a very rich woman into marriage, Fred looked like a cat who got the cream.

To cook someone's goose

To ruin someone; to spoil someone's ambitions or plans; to land someone in a lot of trouble.

Nobody knows exactly where this image comes from. Some say it stems from Aesop's fable where the greedy man who killed his golden goose was left with just the carcase to cook.

Others say it comes from medieval times when a besieged town hung a cooked goose in plain sight of their enemies, either to show they had plenty of food to sit through a blockade or to suggest their attackers were silly geese.

Katz Tales by Ellen Whyte Book sample chapter

Example: The president realised that assassinating his political rival had cooked his goose.

That's the end of the post - except for the shameless self promotion! If you love language, want to improve your English or just like to read, check out my latest book
Logomania: Where Common Phrases Come From And How To Use Them from MPH. Click on the image for free sample chapters, press coverage etc. If you like cats, click on Au posing handsomely above, or visit Katz Tales: Living Under The Velvet Paw. Available in bookstores now! If you have questions, check out my blog

Note: I seem to have problems with the pictures but the links work. To win each of the books, answer this question, what is your favourite food phrase and why? Reply by email to by 10 March, 2010 and you stand to win these two great books.


Kelly said...

or perhaps the Goose that laid the Golden egg in Jack and the beanstalk? Or was that a duck ?! Either way would have been yummy.

Ciki said...

how cute..! too bad im more a doggie person.. but the cat sure is pweety!

Ellen Whyte said...

Oooh thanks Boo! And Au looks so incredibly handsome. See you tomorrow!

eiling lim said...

Love the phrases! Could use some of it next time!

Cocorue said...

hello there,

i've been a follower for sometime and have used your blog as a guide when i'm looking for something delish to try....TQ

if it's ok with you, i would like to use some of your CNY pics on my doggie blog.......with a link back to your blog

do let me know as soon as possible as i'd like it for my next post before chap goh mei.......wanted your yu sang and cookie pics

my link:

thanks and i look forward to hearing from you

coco and mumster lilian

M I S S S M I T H said...

i would like to talk to you about a television show. if you could maybe email me so i can email you details, that would be great. thanks again.

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