the cat's pyjamas

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Alternative forms[edit]


Popular in the US as early as 1922[1] around which the bee's knees, cat's whiskers, and numerous other similar phrases gained prominence.[2] Sometimes attributed to cartoonist Tad Dorgan.[2]


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the cat's pyjamas pl (plural only)

  1. (idiomatic) A highly sought-after and fancy example of something, usually referring to inanimate objects.
    That new car was really the cat's pyjamas.




  1. ^ “PAJAMA GIRL AND CATS OUT; Fifth Avenue Crowds Gather, but Police Scent Publicity Scheme.”, in New York Times, New York City, November 6, 1922, page 12:
    Sunday afternoon strollers in lower Fifth Avenue were treated to the unusual sight yesterday of a young woman clad in transparent yellow silk pajamas, escorted by four cats, also clad in pajamas, leisurely making her way along the avenue... “Cat’s pajamas,” mused one of the patrolmen, “Wait a minute, I think there’s a publicity scheme afoot.”
  2. 2.0 2.1 Carol Braham (January 2, 2001), “cat's pajamas”, in The Mavens' Word of The Day[1], Random House, archived from the original on 2013-08-03