An English speaker’s perspective

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Anyone who has learned some Spanish knows that gato is cat. But did you know it has other meanings?

One of the strangest is that a car jack is called a gato. On certain types of jacks they look similar to a cat when arching its back. This action pushes the car up. That is the only explanation I can see for calling it a gato.

Gato is also the kid’s game that we call tic-tac-toe in the US. I am not sure if it is because the grid looks like cat scratches, or that if no one wins we say the cat wins.

Then there are idiomatic usages of the word. One is, aquí hay gato encerrado which means there is something fishy going on here.


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