gå som katten kring het gröt

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The literal meaning is "to walk like the cat around hot porridge". The first attestation is from 1641 (see reference to Svenska Akademiens ordbok below). Compare with expressions like vara het på gröten, "to be eager/impatient about something" (literally: "to be hot on the porridge").


  • IPA(key): /ɡoː sɔm ˈkatːɛn krɪŋ heːt ɡrøːt/


som katten kring het gröt

  1. (idiomatic) To avoid speaking or acting directly about something; to beat around the bush; to pussyfoot.
    • 1641, Svenska riksrådets protokoll[1]
      I gå som een katt kring om gröten.
      (literally) "You walk like a cat around (the) porridge."

Usage notes[edit]

The head of the expression is , "walk". can also be exchanged for verbs like smyga ("to sneak; to creep") or tassa ("to tip-toe"). It's also possible to render it without an active verb in sentences like Hon var som katten kring het gröt, literally: "she was like the cat around hot porridge".