Curious, to know the origin of the word cat, then here is a brief history, which will help people to understand as how the word ‘cat’ originated. The English word cat was not into usage until 300 AD. It is very remarkable that, in numerous languages around the world, cat owners call this domesticated animal by the term (name), which is very alike the English word of cat or may be puss.

People consider that the name puss is originated from the Pasht, the ancient Egyptian Goddess. This Goddess had the head of cat. People looked on her as a darker reflection of Bast or Bastet, who was the creator or the mother of all felines in the universe. The Goddess sent all the cats to all corners of the Egypt. Hence, it led to the origination of the word puss.

Some tribes in Egypt called this goddess as Mau, which means the one who can see everything. Perhaps, this word also has much to do with the imitative reference to meowing of the cats. This typical voice matches up to the phonetic transcription of hieroglyph (primitive writing) of cats.

Detailed History:

In later years, Copts, the high priests of the church popularized the word chau. Therefore, people in the ancient Egypt later referred to cat as chau. Moreover, the term tomcat has very interesting etymology. Egyptians worshiped atoum, the sun god, which they compared to feline. Thus, it led to the formation of new term tomcat.

Studies reveal that another Greek tribe called cats as ailuros. This word was the combination of the terms aiol as well as ouros, which means wagging tail. People in Latin America referred wild cats as felis. People started domesticating the cats to get rid of rodents. The word felis got wide recognition around the world.

In later period, when people in Rome domesticated cats of orient breed, they used the word cattus instead of felis. In fourteenth century, when the agronomy treaty was signed in Palladius, commonly referred as De re rustica, the officials coined the word cattus for cats in scientific context. This word also appears in the Bible, but then they used this word for night bird. According to the Isidore of the great Seville, the word cattus originates form capture, which means to take or probably from cattare, means piercing look.

In seventeenth century, people called cats as murices, musio or murilegus, which means the one who catches the mice.

Cats In Other Languages:

Although, the word catus was in usage for long years, the originations of new languages lead to newer names for cats. In Portuguese and Spain, people call cats as gato, whereas in Italian languages people call cat as gatto.

In Slavic languages such as in Russian, people call cat as kochka. People refer cat as katze in Germany, cat in English, Chat in French, Cath in Welsh, Kitt in Arabic, Kot in Polish, Puccha in Sanskrit, Pushak in Persia, Puize in Lithuanian and Pus in Irish. Thus, this is all about the etymology of the word cat.

Source by Martin Marks


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