Same with me. That etymology is really interesting. However, I’m not even sure how you’d say ‘catercorner’. Like ‘cater’ as in “I’m catering a big wedding” plus “corner”?
catty-corner? stop saying that, it makes no sense.
Not in any way that I can imagine. Cat-a-cor-ner. No y sound in there at all.
I take “catercorner” to have a very slightly different connotation. A diagonal doesn’t have to involve the corners of a figure. I picture something that is catercorner as actually positioned in a corner–usually athwart it. I might describe a box sitting in the corner of a room with one of its sides facing into the corner as sitting “catercorner”–that is, it’s sitting diagonally across the corner.
Yeah…it’s not a term I have much call for, either.
I’m allergic to cats. More of a dog person, me.
Then you are not familiar with quite a lot accents local to me. I hear it all the time around here. /e/ or /ɛ/ are often pronounced as * when unstressed at the end of words. The only thing that’s weird here is that it’s not the end of a word. It’s done by the same people who say Mondee, Tuesdee, Wenzdee, etc.
Anyways, I had no idea that this was another one of those words affected by our accent. But I never thought it was catty-corner: it’s caddy-corner. /d/ in the middle of words is slightly harder than /t/ because it’s pronounced slightly further back in the mouth.
I am quite happy to learn that it’s like victuals–a real word. Firefox even recognizes it: catercorner. Cool.
Yup. I’d never heard of any of these strange cat-directions till I read the Dope!
It’s Cat+schwa+corner. So like CATeCorner.
I had never heard of this until now. Is it an American thing?
I have heard both, but it is more common for me to catty-corner.
Where I grew up I even heard catty-wampus. (Upon edit, I see others have mentioned it.)
Schwa was one of those awesome things I remember from elementary school. It’s just a great word.
I agree with those who say that cattywampus/catawampus means something entirely different from “diagonally”
I’ve only ever heard kitty-corner, also misspelled as “kiddy”-corner.
Has nothing to do with cats. It’s caddy corner.
Okay, I probably pronounce it more like cadd-a-corner now that you mention that. I don’t really make the hard T sound in it. But I also tend to say Mondee, Tuesdee, etc.
How do you pronounce cauliflower?
Growing up in a small town in Illinois, both phrases were common.
However, apparently I have had no need to use the phrase in a long time - as I have no idea which I would say today.
I’ve heard Catholics refer to catty-chisms. Same effect.
In order of preference:
- Kitty corner
- Catty corner
- Hi Opal!