cat's pajamas

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A highly sought-after and fancy example of something, usually referring to inanimate objects.


  • A slang phrase coined by Thomas A. Dorgan. The phrase became popular in the U.S. in the 1920s, along with the bee's knees, the cat's whiskers. In the 1920s the word cat was used as a term to describe the unconventional flappers from the jazz era. This was combined with the word pajamas to form a phrase used to describe something that is the best at what it does, thus making it highly sought and desirable. Similar phrases that didn't endure: the eel's ankle, the elephant's instep, and the snake's hip.
  • A report in the New York Times of a publicity stunt by an unknown woman in 1922, in which she paraded along 5th Avenue clad in yellow silk pajamas and accompanied by four cats similarly dressed, may indicate the phrase was already current by that date, as the "cat's meow" certainly was.

Submitted on July 07, 2010


Find a translation for the cat's pajamas phrase in other languages:

kočičí pyžamo

kattes pyjamas

Schlafanzug der Katze

pijama de gato

pyjama de chat

बिल्ली की पोशाक

կատվի պիժամա

pigiama di gatto

פיג'מה של חתול


ಬೆಕ್ಕಿನ ಪೈಜಾಮಾ

katten pyjama

kattens pyjamas

pijamas do gato

кошачья пижама

kattens pyjamas

kedinin pijamaları

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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to cat's pajamas

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  1. Alex
    US English

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