look what the cat's dragged in

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Alternative forms[edit]


From the habit of domestic cats of bringing home the remains of killed animals


  • (file)


look what the cat's dragged in!

  1. (idiomatic) Used as an ironic acknowledgement of someone's arrival, especially to imply that they are unwelcome or disagreeable in some way.
    • 2009, Monica Ali, In The Kitchen, Random House, →ISBN, page 526:
      Still facing the mirror, he drawled, ‘Look what the cat's dragged in. Where have you been?’ Gabriel rubbed his chin.
    • 2012, Cory Doctorow; Charles Stross, The Rapture of the Nerds, Tor Books, →ISBN, page 283:
      “Well, look what the cat drug in, Sam,” says a familiar voice, which comes, of course, from everywhere and nowhere.
    • 2012, David Park, The Big Snow[1], A&C Black, →ISBN:
      ‘Well, well, look what the cat's dragged in,’ Gracey said as he moved the thick stump of his neck from side to side and rubbed the back of it with the great towel of his hand. ‘Nice to see you grace us with your presence, Swift. []

Usage notes[edit]

  • To look like something the cat's dragged in is to be dishevelled or very untidy.