From Copy-cut, used by people before invention of photocopy machines, to cut texts from newspapers and create posters as copy-cuts. Pronounced by American accent, the word changed to "copy-cat" later. After generations, the word is used to refer imitating behavior or resemblance.
copycat (plural copycats)
- (informal) One who imitates others' work without adding ingenuity.
- A criminal who imitates the crimes of another; specifically, a criminal who commits the same crime, especially a highly-publicized one, that has just been or recently committed by someone else.
- a copycat strangler
- Imitative; unoriginal.
1997, “The Atlantic monthly”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name):
- "Because of my size, I was a natural leader in junior high school. Gangs are the most copycat of subcultures. It used to be zoot suits; now it's tattoos. When I was thirteen, I got a tattoo"
1997, Daniel Miller, Capitalism: an ethnographic approach:
- As one executive put it: Now in the beverage market we are to a great extent very copycat.
2009, Alan Cole, Fathering your father: the Zen of fabrication in Tang Buddhism:
- It was that very copycat kind of "grandfather stealing" that makes Jinjue's text look like the son of Du Fei's Record, even as it works to push Du Fei's "father-text" out of the way.
- To act as a copycat; to copy in a shameless or derivative way
2007 September 3, Janet Maslin, “His Girl Friday Meets a Sadistically Chic Serial Killer”, in New York Times:
- In a genre that is rife with copycatting, Ms. Cain deserves some credit for having gotten a potentially interesting new series off the ground.