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This week's theme: Whose what? (animal edition)
cat's paw (cats paw) noun
1. Someone used as a tool by another.
2. A kind of knot used to connect a rope to an object.
3. A breeze that ruffles the surface of the water over a small area; also the area ruffled by such a breeze.
[The first sense of the term comes from the fable in which a monkey uses a cat to pull roasting chestnuts from a fire. The monkey gobbles up all the nuts while the cat is left with a burnt paw. See Edwin Landseer's 1824 painting.
The second sense refers to the supposed resemblance of such a knot to a cat's paw.
The origin of the third sense is unknown.]
Today's word in Visual Thesaurus.
-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)
"Prime Minister Tony Blair was reprimanded in the British parliament for his willingness to be the cat's paw of the U.S."
Craig R. Eisendrath and Melvin A. Goodman; Shoot First, Talk Later; USA Today (Washington, DC); Jul 1, 2004.
It is not how old you are, but how you are old. -Jules Renard, writer (1864-1910)
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