One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The male of various animals, especially a turkey or domestic cat.
cat, domestic cat, wild cat, alley cat, kittenView synonyms
- ‘The four-year-old ginger tom moved to the town with owner Sara in January.’
- ‘While hens usually travel together, toms roam either in separate flocks or alone.’
- ‘If the problem is hormone related then neutering is usually an effective solution, especially with troublesome toms!’
- ‘There are tabbies and toms in white, black, grey and ginger.’
- ‘The resulting difference in size between males, or toms, and females, or hens, requires producers to rely solely on artificial insemination for reproduction.’
- ‘You will find that the tom will stop spraying his smelly urine to mark his territory.’
- ‘Susie took up with a local tom and had a litter of two, a male and a female.’
- ‘In the same week a ginger tom called Bat was accused of attacking postmen in Kent.’
- ‘Fritz is a ginger tom of nine and a half months.’
- ‘While the tabby slumped down to mew her pain the tom rampaged among the females and the other nestlings, tearing throats, breaking knees and elbows, and tossing the smaller ones against the closet wall.’
- ‘Some male wildcats mate with domestic females, but the half-breeds rarely survive either because the wild tom returns to kill the kittens as soon as they are born, or householders distrusting their untameable reputation do the same.’
- ‘The kittens would follow the tom around and when we trapped the last one of them he cried at our door for two days.’
- ‘And spaying for females is the same: they remove the whole plumbing system to keep the animal from going into heat and attracting toms and annoying its owner.’
- ‘I donate financially, and have purchased two rescued cats (one adult tom, and one kitten) from you.’
- ‘The tom met with an unfortunate accident - sadly after I chased him out of the house he bolted in front of a car.’
- ‘The hens would be in the low teens, 16 or 17 pounds, and the toms would dress out at 28 pounds.’
2TomUS informalshort for Uncle Tom
(of a black person) behave in an excessively obedient or servile way.work as a prostitute, prostitute oneself, sell one's body, sell oneself, walk the streets, be on the streets, solicit, work in the sex industryView synonyms
Late Middle English (denoting an ordinary man, surviving in tomfool, tomboy, and the phrase Tom, Dick, and Harry): abbreviation of the given name Thomas. tom (sense 1 of the noun) dates from the mid 18th century.
- short for tomato
- ‘There's only one thing that will revive the toms, courgettes, rocket, spinach and fennel - pelletised chicken manure.’
- ‘Liquidise ripe toms with red onion, cucumber, red pepper, extra virgin olive oil, sherry or balsamic vinegar and chill to let the flavours develop.’
- ‘A topping of onion marmalade, reasonable toms and fresh, herby ricotta couldn't rescue it.’
- short for tom-tom
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