The English We Speak

Intermediate level

Cat got your tongue?

Episode 161025 / 25 Oct 2016

Summary

Feifei's unusually quiet today – maybe it's got something to do with the cat that Rob has brought into the office? But what has the cat's tongue got to do with it - or is there just some confusion about another English expression? 

Transcript

Rob
Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I'm Rob, and joining me is Feifei.

Feifei
Hello. (sneezes)

Rob
Bless you!

Feifei
(sneezes)

Rob
Are you ok? Have you got a cold?

Feifei
No, not a cold. Something's making me sneeze. Errr... Rob, is that a cat on your lap?!

Rob
Yes. Meet Tiddles. I decided to bring him to the office because he gets lonely at home on his own… don't you Tiddley-widdly? It's a good idea, don't you think? Feifei? You've gone all quiet – you've usually got something to say. Feifei?

Feifei
(sneezes)

Rob
Can you speak? Cat got your tongue? 

Feifei
No! Your cat has not got my tongue – or anything else – I'm allergic to cats.

Rob
Oh dear Feifei - but saying 'cat got your tongue?' means 'you're very quiet' or 'you've got nothing to say'.

Feifei
Really?! Well let's hear some examples of this phrase…

Examples
What's the matter? Cat got your tongue? I did say we'd use up all our money on the car!

A: Has the cat got your tongue? You usually go on about how amazing your boyfriend is.
B: We split up.

Feifei
So 'cat got your tongue?' is an informal question you might say to someone who isn't saying much. [sneezes]

Rob
Oh I get it now. You weren't saying much because you were too busy sneezing!

Feifei
No Rob. I was angry because you know I am allergic to cats – don't you remember me saying that I can't be in the same room as one? Rob? Rob! What's wrong? Cat got your tongue now?

Rob
It appears Tiddles needed the toilet… but it's too late now. I'm all wet! 

Feifei
Oh Rob. You stink! I'm off. Bye.