One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A cat.‘dangly baubles can be too tantalizing for even the best behaved pusses’
cat, domestic cat, wild cat, alley cat, kittenView synonyms
- ‘I sat next to puss on the couch again but Sam never left the door.’
- ‘At the grand old age of 22, Wilhemina the puss has enjoyed more than her share of cat lives.’
- ‘But after two days, the lucky puss was able to return home none the worse after his four-week ordeal.’
- ‘While licking its claws, puss leaves a collection of the organism there, which in turn becomes yours when the cat scratches you.’
- ‘The puss used up one of her nine lives when she was spotted dodging the Ryanair Boeing 737 as it arrived from Dublin.’
- ‘Apparently, her puss Fang soon tires of any particular flavor and makes life difficult at meal times.’
- ‘Between 10 and 15 cats, including a pregnant puss, have been found dead near the intersection of Balmain Rd and Moore St in the past year.’
- ‘Catfights also cause nasty abscesses that result in pain and trips to the vet for puss.’
- ‘Even the mildest mannered little pooch or the purrfect pet puss will bite and scratch savagely when injured.’
- ‘A pretty puss Sophie came second in a beautiful pet competition - despite being dead.’
- ‘‘Ah, there you are, puss,’ the gentleman said in a pinched voice, his attention on Croft.’
- ‘This does not amuse either puss who associate feathered birds with fair game and dinner.’
- 1.1usually with modifier A playful or coquettish girl or young woman.‘you old snuggle puss’
- ‘‘You're getting me into trouble, puss,’ Louis would say reproachfully.’
- ‘What made you think there's an intruder, puss?’
- ‘All the better for hearing that you're safe and well, puss.’
- ‘‘Don't worry, puss,’ he said, heading out of the room.’
- ‘‘Don't get all huffy, puss,’ Louis said gently.’
Early 16th century: probably from Middle Low German pūs (also pūskatte) or Dutch poes, of unknown origin.
A person's face, mouth, or expression.‘they hush up with little smiles on their pusses’‘look at the long puss on him—you'd think he'd be happy for his brother’
face, features, physiognomy, profileView synonyms
- ‘As for Specter - we're sick to death of seeing his puss.’
- ‘In any case, after looking at his smug puss for an hour or so, I'm far more likely to pass on the son and vote for the parents.’
- ‘There was nothing more exasperating than the snug puss of my Dublin work colleague as he entered the office the morning after.’
- ‘He had a right puss on him when he lifted it down off the stool.’
- ‘Everybody says she always had a puss on her face, and I always smiled.’
Late 19th century: from Irish pus ‘lip, mouth’.
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