A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Words with Webster: Leopard

We have two fun Friday features for you today. First up is Real Cat Webster, who has a … spotted word to share. After that, it’s on to Friendly Fill-Ins!

Words with Webster

Words with Webster

Hi, everybody! It’s me, Real Cat Webster. Welcome to Words with Me. Today’s word is “leopard.” Maybe you remember that I mentioned this word in my column a couple of weeks ago and said I’d do it soon. I’m doing it today.

A leopard is
a large strong cat (Felis pardus) of southern Asia and Africa that is usually tawny or buff with black spots arranged in broken rings or rosettes, is somewhat arboreal, and often lies in ambush for its prey that consists of most animals small or weak enough for it to overcome—called also panther. (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, online)
You probably already knew that. And if you read my last post about the word “pard,” you might already suspect that “leopard” is a related word. Well, it is. Let’s go in our usual order, though, with dates and quotes.

“Leopard” has appeared with various spellings since at least about 1330, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The Online Etymology Dictionary says the English word has been around since the late 13th century and was used as a surname starting in the early 13th century. There were several good quotes. I picked these ones for you to show a couple of the different spellings:
Then answered Kyng Richard, In deed lyon, in thought libbard. (Richard Coer de Lyon, 2182 [about 1400])

There was a lyeparte there aboutes whiche destroyed the people of the contre. (Jacobus de Voragine, Golden Legende, trans. by William Caxton, 416/1 [1483])

Wert thou a Leopard, thou wert Germane to the Lion, and the spottes of thy Kindred, were Iurors on thy life. (Shakespeare, Timon of Athens (1623) iv. iii. 342 [about 1616])
This word comes to us from the Late Latin leopardus (“lion-pard, lion-panther”) and Greek leopardos, says the Online Etymology Dictionary. Back in those times, people thought the leopard was actually a hybrid of a lion and a panther, so that’s what they called it: a lion-panther. Now we know that a leopard is its own thing.

Look closely at the cat in this drawing of an Egyptian chariot...
(By Unknown author [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons. Original source is W.W. Loring, "A Confederate Soldier in Egypt," 1884.)

Crop of Egyptian chariot pic
It's spotted, but it also seems to have a sort of mane.
Could it be an ancient lion-pard? 

One last note for today: A few commenters on my last post said that they thought “pard” would have something to do with “partner.” Well, it does, actually. “Pard” is also a colloquial term for “partner, chum.” This usage originated in the US and has been around since at least 1850. It is a shortened form of “pardener,” which has been around since at least 1795:
Improprieties, commonly called Vulgarisms... Pardener for Partner. (Benjamin Dearborn, The Columbian Grammar, 137 [1795])

Friendly Fill-Ins

Friendly Fill-Ins
And now it’s time for Friendly Fill-Ins, from 15andmeowing and The Four-Legged Furballs. The first two are answered by old SoLT this week, and the next two by Real Cat Paisley.

Old SoLT’s answers:
1. When it is hot, I like to sit on the deck (under the awning) and read. I enjoy getting out of the air conditioning, and it is nice to not be mildly to moderately to severely cold all the time.

2. I am looking forward to the end of this month. Because then it will be August, which is one month closer to my favorite season, fall.

Real Cat Paisley’s answers:
3. The theme song of my life would be “Margaritaville,” only I would re-title it “Niparitaville.”

4. There is no such thing as a free lunch. At least that’s what Mommy told me, but she feeds me lunch every day and I never pay her or anything, so I think that might be one of those alternative facts I keep hearing about.


  1. Ha ha, so there is such a thing as a free lunch! That was really interesting about the leopard. I can see why they might have thought it was a cross between a panther and a lion!
    After being cold all winter, who wants to sit inside and be cold in the air conditioning? That's another reason I've been resistant to getting one, but one more day of heat and I couldn't take it...so we have one on the way!

  2. Thank you for the vocabulary lesson Webster. And thank you both for participating in the fill-ins, great answers. I am looking forward to autumn too, definitely my favorite. Paisley, you have a good point there about the alternative fact :) Have a nice weekend! XO

  3. Sitting on the deck, reading and petting kitties, is one of my favorite things to do; air-conditioning can only be tolerated for so long. Paisley, you most definitely PAY for your noms and brushies and litterbox stuff; you simply do it by being yourself, with purrs and cuteness and stuffs.

  4. But if leopards aren't panthers then what are???

  5. I always enjoy your word lessons. I took an etymology course in college. It was just supposed to be a random course to add a couple of hours, but I ended up loving it. And, thank you for joining in on the Friendly Fill-Ins! I love reading outdoors, especially in the autumn. It's also my favorite season, and I cannot wait for it. Paisley, "Niparitaville" sounds like our kind of tune! Now, where can we find us a niparita? Happy Friday!

  6. I've always been fascinated by leopards - of every stripe ... err ... spot?! I can't help it ... when I'm at a place with a snow leopard ... I'm like a little kid.

  7. I am counting down the days until fall!!! These last 6 days of 90+ have been pure torture and I wish summer was over right now.

  8. MOL Niparitaville, that's a good one. I love it!
    Purrs & Head Bonks,
    Tucker & The Tribe of Five

  9. August promises to be even hotter here. Right now it is cool. It is a cool 87 right now. Sometimes we sit in the breezeway and enjoy cool days like that. Have a blessed week.

  10. I kind of look forward to August, too. It holds my 53rd birthday, but I'm looking more forward to late July, when my little sister turns 50. :)

    I like sitting outside, too, but not at 90+ degrees. The other day it was in the 70s and that was great, almost like a cold snap. haha

    I'm glad that you are so well cared for. I enjoyed your story about the word "leopard".

    Have a blessed weekend.

  11. You don't pay for your lunch?? Oh yeah. Neither do I. I enjoy a Meowgarita every so often too.

  12. I lvoe leopards. They are amazing (and we like them more than lions!)