This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Last updated at 11:51 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Animal idioms: Cat

Introduction

Our three idioms this week are:

  1. There isn't enough room to swing a cat
  2. To let the cat out of the bag
  3. To put the cat among the pigeons

Video

Teacher's homework

Have you ever let the cat out of the bag? Or perhaps you've put a cat among the pigeons.

Use one or more of these expressions in a paragraph and I'll put up the ones I like best.

This topic has now closed. Thanks for all your homework.

Fakhar Habib, Pakistan
well, it is a very usful program for the English learners. Helpful for teachers too.we are working in a small office. There is not enough room to swing a cat here. Yet I have to keep some precious documents secretly.But do you know about Mr.Nadir! I am afraid he will let out the cat out of the bag. That would really put the cat among the pigeons.

Ali, Iran
Hello intelligant man, "when i was teenager i had a small room and too many stuffs. there wasn't enough room to swing a cat but i tried so hard to orgnize it". by the way, these videos are excellent and you are a funny teacher.

Juliana, Brazil
Hello teacher !!!!!!!!!! i really liked !!!! you are so funny !!! Good on you !!!

Betzabe, Chile
When I Travelled by bus on my last vacacions, I went to the toilet...and of course there's isn't enough room to swing a cat, I had to opened the window because I couldn't breathe. After that, I was about 10 minutes inside because I was looking through the window and it was very funny, but if I didn't leave of the toilet, passengers could think another situation about me inside the toilet...I think so!!!

Godfrida,Tanzania
Hi teacher,today is my first time to watch your video.Its really good.Conglatulations.

Friedrich, Germany
I thought this was brilliant. Thank you so much for helping me to speak such good English.

Indira, Egypt
I have learnt British English as a Sri Lankan. But in Egypt, American English is more famous. Anyhow, first time I have explored your site. It is fantastic and unique. I believe Britons are the best English teachers because I have learnt English from several institutions and The British Council, Sri Lanka,so I know the difference very well. Thank you very much for free downloadable knowledge in your site and The Teacher

Jin, South Korea
Whenever I take an airplane, there isn't enough room to swing a cat. If the flight time is over 5 hours, it's exactly same as hell. I'm already scared of taking airplane heading to my country. It takes almost over 10 hours. I've just finished my last presentation in pair. That's awful. My partner is so headstrong. I think she doesn't know what is democracy. After all, we shut down our eyes each other. Everybody who watched our presentation could feel our relationship was so bad. My teacher who made the pairs put a cat among the pigeons.

Kyle, Vietnam
Thanks for your wonderful performace. This is the first time I attend such a strange class like this. That's very great.

Aldo, Peru
hello everybody, and congratulations teacher for your programme the video is very good thanks.

Medell, Colombia
Hi teacher, is the first time a watch your video and the true it's very interesting specially for people who are studying English.

Sergey, Belarus
Video :-OAt last!Thank you very much!

Alex, Ghana
hi teacher to day is my first time watch your video and i have enjoy it.thank you very huch

Algeria, Ratiba
dear teacher ,thanks a lot for those lessons it is a great help for all english learners in the world

Assia, Algeria
Hi teacher,I'm happy to read your answer and I'm pleased to download your marvelous videos ,thanks a lot.

Sounay, Vientiane, Laos
Currently i live in a flat in which there isn't enough room to swing a cat, the room is only for one person to stay in. During summer, I nailed the wall to hang up my picture I made a noisy sound that it put the cat among pigeons. I think I'am a secret man, my frends trust me that I'll never let the cat out of the bag.

Myen, Vietnam
Well, my brother is a bookworm. His room is full of books that there isn't enough room to swing a cat. He wears as thick glasses as up to... a centimetre or so! Ohh, he has just doneee... Opps! I almost let the cat out of the bag. that'll put the cat among the pigeons. He's daunting!!!

Jose, Spain
Probably it makes sense whenever I travel by car with my wife and two tots (fortunatly I haven't got a pet)and, obviously, the boot car is not enough for the kids stuff (toys and whatsoever), what makes me put some pieces of luggage inside the car and, as a conclusion there isn't enough room to swing a cat. At least my wife is fully awered of letting me freedom of movement for safety reasons.

Juliana, Colombia
Congratulations for that great idea. You all are doing an excellent job. Hopefully these virtual classes were more often cause they are really goods. Thanks

Eriton, Brazil
When it comes to my math teacher, dim-witted things usually happen. However, I'm not going to talk about her dumbness, but about her being trustworthy or not. Actually, once a friend of mine, who thought she was quite friendly and faithful, poured his heart out to her. He told her lots of awful things which aren't worth being commented here. He begged her to keep the secret and not to open her mouth. But later, when she was talking to a friend of hers, she was wrung till she let the cat out of the beg, which set the cat among the pigeons. I'd told him once that she hadn't a cat in hell's chance of keeping the secret. My friend got really anxious, he was like a cat on a tin roof; he feared his secret reached his mothers ears. Then, in the street where he lives, he bumped into my math teacher, they fought like cat and dog without even concerning about the people round them. As expected, my friend's mother went there to see what was happening; the cat got my friend's tongue, and anxiety reared it's ugly head and he broke down. He ended up giving himself away to his mother. In the end, I could understand that if you want to keep a secret don't talk to my math teacher.

Youcef, Algeria
I'm very pleased for these videos.

The Teacher says
I've got good news for Assia in Algeria and all the others who've asked. You can now download my lessons!

Angela, Dominican Republic
Housing can be a real source of worry. In almost every major city the world over, houses and apartments are so small there isn't enough room to swing a cat. One instance of this is what happened to a friend and me. We were desperate since the landlord had threatened with evicting us if we did not make the last two payments...which, by the way, were looong overdue, so we started looking for a new apartment. One morning, while we were reading the classified ads, we ran into a very appealing offer. Needless to say, we were ecstatic, joyful, exhilarating! The ad claimed it had enough space for two tenants to live comfortably. What disillusion we crashed into! When we got to the premises, the cat was let out of the bag:(. It was a tiny sardine box that barely held the two of us upright. As you may well suppose, this was enough to set the cat among the pigeons!

Hiroki, Japan
I had to be in a long queue in a post office for buying some stamps. It was the first time to go to the post office. After a while I got my turn and asked the post office worker to buy them. But the staff only said "No, you have to go to the next window."Yes, I put a cat among the pigeons. Why is all public affairs never flexible? I could watch the shelf which have stamps and post cards between the windows. And they didn't show any advertisement about two windows for mails and stamps.I had to be in the next queue if I wanted to buy the stamps but I was busy and no time to spend any time to stay there. I had to go out with angry at that time.Say hello to our new teacher, Tinkles. I like cats.

Yenny, Colombia
Once, I got very angry with my flatmate Rosa, because she didn't pay the rent I always helped her to pay it, until a day I could no longer stand her, I told her there is not enogh room to swing a cat in this flat. Finally, she admit to have been mean and paid the rent. I remember when I told my ex-boyfriend that I wanted to break up with him, that really set the cat among the pigeons. I friend of mine set the cat among the pigeons when she told her parents she wanted to drop out of college. That nearly kill them. Bye

Marisela, Venezuela
Hi everybody- About the first question, as far as I can remember, no I have never let the cat out of the bag, but my little brother did let the cat out of the bag with a secret I told him. The secret was he lisened my conversation with a boy on the phone, we agreed to see us each other but it was a secret between he and I, but I didn't realise he was keeping his ear to the ground, I asked him to keep it under his head but He was full he told my mother the secret by mistake, he really let the cat out of the bag.

R. Joshua Kang, South Korea
'To Put a cat among the pigeons' that expression reminds my last campus life which is worst. When English Phonetics class, I told professor that 'Our team didn't practise singing a song'. Well, I have Asperger's disorder which is the High-functioning autism, a lack of emotion and the poor relationships so I didn't realise that kind of action is putting a cat among the pigeons. Especially team leader who is older than a year angered to me and completely broken the relationship. Actually, in my campus life, I don't have many friends.

Ida, Indonesia
Truly, there isn't enough room to swing a cat in this hustle bustle city, especially during the working hour in the morning where buses and trains are full with people. Have you ever experienced standing inside a bus full of people with their sweat's smell and another mix smell?. The dangerous part come when somebody release their gas waste and people are looking to each other searching for the criminal, it'sjust like putting the cat among the pigeon. Any idea to let the cat out of the bag??

David Hernandez , Colombia
I am studing in the high school and when i do not do my homework it puts the cat among pigeons. You give us alotta and so interesting and useful idioms . thanks .

Reza, Iran
We have a very nice teacher as well as you sir. We've passed more than 10terms with him so far. But unfortunately, because of personal reason, he is going to leave our institute next month. So we decided to have a party in last session and give him gift. We were going to surprise him, but one of the student lets the cat out of the bag, by asking him "if you had a choice what would you prefer as a gift?"...

Daisy, Vietnam
I told my close friend about the boy I liked in class and asked her to keep secret about this. But unfortunately, she let the cat out of the bag by telling to his sister. She didn't know that Anne is his sister.

Raqeeb, Pakistan
I'm living in a very small flat. there isn't enough place to swing a cat. by the way I invited some friends because i wanted put the cat among the pigeons. but silly me, I let the cat out of the bag by telling my sister about my plot at the phone. they heard me.

Wong, Singapore
Bok brought his girl friend home,and his girl friend was rude .She really put the cat among the pigeons and made us so angry.

Hanan, Saudi Arabia
Before couple of days my house was full of relatives and friends so there isn't enough room to swing a cat but we were very happy. I very appreciate to your job.

Anand, India
Last week I went to a hotel with my friends. The hotel was full of crowed. My friend told me "Hey there is no room to swing a cat". Fortunately we got a table. While eating the food I pretended like my boss this led me to let the cat out of bag because unfortunately my boss was sitting on the table next to us. By mistake I put the cat among the pigeons and that cost me lot.

Ally Yang, China
The show is a great fun and I do think the teacher acting the lesson has a lot in common with Mr. Bean!

Ngan Ha, Vietnam
jane locked herself in a tiny room _it was as small as there was no space to swing a cat .She lay in bed crying because nobody had picked her from school. It made her really angry. Later, her brother got home and let the cat out of the bag when he told her that he had hang out with his girlfriend instead of picking her.

Asal, Iran
I lived in dormitory.A small room for 3 people.Really there wasn't enough room to swing a cat.

Vidyasekaran, India
There was no enough space to swing a cat in the drawing room, I realised it after drawing our new house plan yesterday. I let the cat out of the bag by informing this to client and I also put a cat among the pigeons when i told this to my wife.

Xuchin, Vietnam
You are very funny , of course the way you teach is too. I didn't fall to sleep hahaha

Marina, Russia
Once my friend an I were going to visit a very famous 14th century Monastery here in Russia and see its wall paintings . We called to a small hotel located near the Monastery, and as it sounded pretty nice, we booked a first-class room in it. And when we came there, wet from the rain, squelching though the mud, what did we found? Just a little room with a TV and a small table and a bed, and there wasn't really enough room to swing a cat!The Monastery was great but the room... Well, we were a couple with a good sence of humour, we "appreciated a joke", and we will never go there again!

Marcel, Germany
Hi intelligent and interesting man! Your lessons are really funny and interesting. Thank you! I hope that we will see many more lessons from you.

Shokoufeh , U.A.E
police arrested thiefs few days back and put them in different small rooms where there wasn't enough room to swing a cat but none of them spoke so one of the polices lied to them and actually put a cat among the pigeons and at last made one of them to let the cat out of the bag.I really like these cats idiom, thanks teacher

Daniel Augusto, Paraguay
Few days ago, It was my birthday,on 30 july. When I got to my English class, in one Institute of my city, al my classmates knew that it was my birthday, the teacher had let the cat out of the bag.

Tracychch, Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a modern and cosmopolitan city,a small island as well.A considering number of people live in cramped flats. how small? there isn't enough room to swing a cat.there is no wonder that people seldom invite friends to be home.Oh,I am not intentional to let the cat out of bag,just tell you to understand them, my foreinger friends.

Dai, Japan
Recently,in Japan,there are big problems for elderly people because of missing records of payment for the pension. It's really put the cat among the pigeons.A person who works in the Social Insurance Agency let the cat out of the bag.

O-keol, Kwon, South Korea
In fact, i am very happy for your teaching, 'cause these idoms are new even if i have been studying english for several years, thanks again Teacher.

Ana Paula, Brazil
One of my friends has bought a flat recently. Although there isn't enough room to swing a cat, the flat is very cosy indeed, and she's so happy to have her own place now.

Farhana, India
WOW Garfield is my favourite cat. And i have indeed let the cat out of the bag when i revealed a secret of mine. Well during rains there is a stray cat that jumps on my grill, how silly as there is really no palce to swing a cat there but the cat manages to curl and go to sleep when it rains cats and dogs.

Abbas, Canada
When I was in Japan my flat was only 15 square meters. There was not enough room to swing a cat. Oh my God, I just let the cat out of the bag about my experience in Japan.

Animal Protector, Ukraine
thanks, teacher:))))))) now I'm relieved!

Shahla , Danmark
I´m living in a very small flat. there isn´t enough place to swing a cat. by the way I invitede some friends just becaus i wanted put the cat among the pigenos. but silly me, I let the cat out of the bag by telling my sister about my plot at the phone. they heard me.

Nancy, China
Firstly, I'd like to say that I like cats very much! When I lived in the countryside, there's been always a cat in my house. what's more, I like the cat and the cat also like me. We played together after I finished my homework, oh, that's not exactly correct, because sometimes the cat jumped onto the talbe while I was doing my homework very carefully. And I had to say:" Darling, just give me ten minutes, ok, just ten minutes?" I had to beg her to wait for a while. Ah, it's realy hard to forget those memories. I love cats so much! Anyway, accordint to the teacher's assignment here, my passage should include at least one of those three idioms. Let me think... yes, I will hold a party next weekend, and the people I'm going to invite had been working in the same company for three years or so. But one person is beyond the invitation list because I don't like him, and I think most others have the same idea as me. I hope nobody will let the cat out of the bag!

Tania, Ukraine
yeah, yeah, I remember when one of my pals let the cat out of the bag and told me that my boyfriend was dating with my best friend while I was ill in bed - that really put the cat among the pigeons

Animal Protector, Ukraine
You are not a teacher!!! You are devil!!! How could you treat like that with the sweet cat??? I beg you, no, I order you - never swing a cat again. Thanks god you've got a small house and there isn't enough room to swing a cat! I'm indignant over your attitude towards the poor animal! That really put the cat among the pigeons.



The Teacher says:
Please don't worry! I love Tinkles the cat very much and would never harm her. I didn't swing a real cat!

Assia, Algeria
These are a very good idioms,but I wonder why we can't download that interesting videos ...that's not a right thing,anyway , that's like to put the cat among the pigeons .* I'd like to tell you something ,the teacher is adorable .* Assia what did you say?!!!!!!!!you let the cat out of the bag!

Amal
What a wonderful idiom

Roselyne, France
My friend put a cat among the pigeons when she told a female friend that she was pregnant ("congratulations", the first one said!)...but the second had only put on weight!

Dasha, Ukraine
Hi, Teacher! Thank you so much for the 'cat' idioms!! They are super! And you are a star!!! Well, my best friend lives in a flat where there isn't enough room to swing the cat! So, his girlfriend decided to throw away his favourite sofa in order to make the flat bigger.. It had to be a surprise for him. But I made a mistake, a very silly one-I let the cat out of the bag and put the cat among the pigeons... I felt like a cat on hot bricks! But fortunately I could make them peace!Dear Teacher, I'm looking forward to hearning your 'dog' idioms next time! Take care!

  1. Home
  2. > Grammar, Vocabulary & Pronunciation
  3. > The Teacher
  4. > Animal idioms: Cat