Prairie cat

This morning’s Bizarro:

A play on cat: ‘feline’ or ‘jazz musician’. With the former opposed to dog ‘canine’ in the idiomatic prairie dog.

As I noted in a posting on prairie dog, those creatures are not dogs, but they are so-called because they resemble dogs in having a bark-like warning call. In the cartoon, we see two figures that are indeed cats (on the prairie), but in the slang sense rather that the literal sense.

Green’s Dictionary of Slang has two relevant senses of cat, both marked as orig. US black: ‘a person’, with the first cite in 1886; and “in orig. jazz-orientated uses” ‘a jazz musician’, with the first cite from Cab Calloway in 1944. The sense developments aren’t entirely clear.

(If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 [no — make that 3] in this strip — see this Page.)

2 Responses to “Prairie cat”

  1. jbl Says:

    I see both the numbers 2 and 3 above the signature. I saw the 3 first and was confused. Then I saw a third symbol – the pie to the left of the left horse’s knee – and was more confused.

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