cat got your tongue, has the

(Has the) cat got your tongue?

A humorous question directed at one who is not speaking very much or at all. A: "What's wrong, sonny? Cat got your tongue?" B: "Oh, he's just shy around new people, that's all."
See also: cat
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cat got your tongue, has the

Why are you silent? According to Eric Partridge, this term dates from the mid-nineteenth century in both England and the United States and was one of several phrases used in addressing a child who, after getting into trouble, refused to answer questions. The literal meaning is quite far-fetched, so it obviously comes from the grown-up’s invention of some bizarre circumstance that prevents the child from speaking. There is an analogous French idiom, “I throw [or give] my tongue to the cat,” meaning “I give up; I have nothing to say.”
See also: cat
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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