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Friday, July 14, 2006


My Human has a degree in linguistics & English. So she gets curious about stupid words. She made her stupid friend, Large Oh, research the meaning of the word "pussyfoot." Large Oh has a lot of free time currently because she no longer works at the circus.


Teddy Roosevelt seems to have either coined or popularized pussyfoot in about 1905. Meaning crafty, cunning, or moving in a cautious manner, it refers to the way cats can walk stealthily by drawing in their claws and walking on the pads of their feet. It's very unlikely that the redoubtable William Eugene "Pussy-foot" Johnson, a crusading American do-gooder, has anything to do with the expression. Johnson was nicknamed "Pussyfoot" because "of his catlike policies in pursuing lawbreakers" when he served as chief special officer in the Indian Territory. Later his nickname, in the form of pussyfooters, was applied to all advocates of Prohibition., While crusading in England, fresh from his triumph of securing the passing of Prohibition in the U.S., Johnson was blinded by a stone thrown by a crusading drunk.

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