Idiom – (Has the) Cat got your tongue?

Meaning –  This expression is said to someone who has nothing to say. If you are annoyed with someone because they are not speaking you might ask them “Has the cat got your tongue?

This idiom can be said to someone who is refusing to answer a question or someone who has no response to an accusation of some sort. This idiomatic expression is commonly said to children by adults (parents or teachers).

The words in this idiom – Has the cat got your tongue? – give the listener an image of a cat running away with somebody’s tongue. In a situation like this it would be very difficult to say something!

The Internet generation has cleverly adapted this idiom. If someone does not reply to a text message or typed  chat message you can ask them Has the cat got your thumbs?

What’s the matter? is another to ask What’s the problem?


  • “Did you eat all of the cookies?”
  • “…..”
  • “What’s the matter? Has the cat got your tongue?

In The News:

What’s the matter, Mike Durant? Cat got your tongue?



  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.

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