skinnin' cats

The phrase “there is more than one way to skin a cat” is attributed to Mark Twain, the name of a childrens game, and Richard Bach uses it as reference to repair of Caterpillar bulldozers in “Illusions”…whats the real straight dope?

skinnin cats…thats an easy one.

Catfish (cats) must be skinned before you can cook and eat them. Catfish have a slimy skin instead of scales…trust me, you DONT want to eat it.
Yes, there is more than one way to skin them. Most methods, however, involve a pair or pliers or special cat-skinning pliers sold at most sporting goods stores.
I think old mister twain probably picked this one up from from some fisherman teaching his son what to do to a catfish.

…while searching for the origins I came across this in Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang:

to skin the cat phr [19C+] to have sexual intercourse.

Justin, I generally drive a 20 penny nail through the cats head into the cleaning table and proceed to strip the skin away with a pair of needle nose pliers as suggested but the phrase does not appear to have its origins there.

Are you suggesting that there is more than one way to have sexual intercourse?

kniz, this is General Questions.

In this forum it is just not done to mislead people by implying something which cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be possible.

Reading my earlier post I now believe that it is capable of misinterpretation so, for the avoidance of doubt, I state categorically and unequivocally that there is not more than one way to have sexual intercourse.

Sorry, no cite.

Nostradamus, since we are supposed to be here fighting ignorance, I must insist that you reword your post.

There is no possible way to have sex. No one, anywhere, is having sex at all. It is all a myth, urban legend, hoax, and fairy tale. I’m shocked at you for misleading kniz in such a cruel way.

Corr (after all, if I’m not getting any…)

I don’t think “to skin the cat” and “there is more than one way to skin a cat” are used in the same context.

Having now been exposed as a sexual charlatan by Corrvin, I must come clean.

I am ashamed. It was a friend who told me about ‘sex’. A friend who I trusted. A person I relied upon to tell me the truth in all matters.

I now see clearly that he was lying all along, and I give a solemn undertaking never to spread unsubstantiated rumours in this forum ever again.

Please forgive me, I was just trying to impress everybody.

Good thing there isn’t any such thing as sex. After exposing Nostradamus, and having him come clean in front of all of us, I’m really glad I don’t have to fear angry retaliation from the Nostradame.

Corr, who had to think up some way to use that terrible pun

Dale the Bold will be relieved to know this. :smiley:

Back to the OP:

When it comes to etymology the straight dope comes from World Wide Words
He addresses the issue, and answers:

[side note]
Could that “to perform a type of gymnastic exercise” have domething to do with that sex thing hinted at by several posters?
[/side note]

Screwed up the url. The WorldWideWords homepage is here, and the article quoted from is here