CANTO SLANG: EPISODE 17
Here’s one that rolls off the tongue naturally in Cantonese, but might seem a tad bit peculiar in English.
EAT DEAD CAT
WTF is that? This one is a bit weird, but we have to go back to the good ol’ days. The good ol’ days when we ate dogs and cats. Yes those ruff ol’ days….
The origins of this slang is quite interesting indeed. Back in the days, eating cats and dogs were popular because the meat is “tasty” (air quote, apparently). However, due to the cats being trapped in cramped cages, it is inevitable that some will die before they’re ready to be cooked. The restaurant owners, not wanting to waste their “meat”, will also cook the dead cats too.
Now, to the cat-eating connoisseurs, they can tell the difference as dead cat meat has a distinctly difference taste and texture (apparently) that pales in comparison to fresh cats.
These connoisseurs will then question the restaurants and ask why they’re feeding them dead cats when they’ve ordered and paid for fresh cats… (that’s a bizarre sentence).
As time passes, the slang has been passed down to mean that if you eat a dead cat, you’re taking the blame for something or someone, similar to a scapegoat.
Share this if you liked it! Also have you checked out the previous Canto Slang Lesson #16, Yellow Face Wife?