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by Christopher Mudiappahpillai

And if you’re into the whole etymology thing, you should visit The Word Detective.

I actually found the above site while trying to remember what a “catbird seat” was after seeing it somewhere earlier today. And I could distinctly recall reading a story when I was young in a back-issue of Reader’s Digest that used the word.

With all this in mind, I was scouring the web and found out that the phrase “catbird seat” was popularised in a short story called “The Catbird Seat” written by James Thurber (!) for the New Yorker (!) in 1942. Which was also the story that I had read. So that wasn’t very useful.

As for the catbird itself, it’s related to the mockingbird and is famous for being able to immitate the meow of a cat.

Anyway, the site’s a great read, so go!