Friday, 10 June 2011


The word of the day is: 'gato' = cat.

In Spanish, the word  'gato'/ 'gata' is noun of Latin origin, the meaning of which a domestic feline (a cat). The noun  'gato' is also used to mean cats in general, a car jack, a man from Madrid, a petty thief, a hustler.

In some Latin American countries, the noun 'gato' also means a game of noughts & corosses/ tic-tac-toe. In Argentina, the noun 'gato' also means a type of dance and the music for that dance. In Mexico, the noun 'gato' also means a hash sign, a male sevant or a maid.

The noun 'gato' is used in the following common expressions:
  • Hay gato encerrado (something is not quite right)
  • Cuatro gatos (just a handful of people)
  • Defenderse como gato panza arriba (to put up a fierce fight)
  • Gato escaldado del agua fría huye (proverb: 'once bitten twice shy')
  • Dar gato por liebre (to con/ to swindle/ to dupe)
  • Jugar al gato y al ratón (to play cat and mouse)
  • Llevarse el gato al agua (to pull it off)
  • Lavarse como los gatos (to wash very sparingly)
  • Estar para el gato (to be in a bad way-Chile)
  • Buscarle tres pies al gato (to complicate things)
  • Gato con botas (Puss in Boots)
  • Gato montés (wild cat-not used in wildcat strike, or similar expressions)
  • Gato siamés (siamese cat)

Examples of usage of the noun 'gato'/ 'gata' are:
  • Tenemos una gata muy linda (we have a very nice female cat)
  • ¡Cuidado! Aquí hay gato encerrado (careful! There is something fishy here)
  • Había cuatro gatos en la fiesta (there was just a handful of people at the party)
  • Me defendí como gato panza arriba (I really put up a fight)
  • Nos dieron gato por liebre (we were cheated)
  • Por fin, conseguí llevarme el gato al agua (I pulled it off at last)
  • No le busques tres pies al gato (don't over complicate it) loves the word 'gato' in YouTube clip 'Los gatos más graciosos del mundo'Los gatos más graciosos del mundo

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