“Curiosity Killed the Cat” Meaning, Origin and Easy Examples

Last Updated on March 19, 2021

A saying that you may hear often in the English language is ‘curiosity killed the cat.’ But what does this term mean and how are we able to use it in our daily conversations? We are going to look at where this saying came from as well as how to use it and what its meaning is.

Curiosity Killed the Cat

Curiosity Killed the Cat Meaning

The meaning behind this saying is that if you become too curious, you may find yourself in trouble. The cat in the idiom presumably became overly curious, so much so that he put himself into a dangerous situation which led to his death.

Origin of this idiomatic expression

The idiom ‘curiosity killed the cat’ was in fact, first used as a literal description of a cat who had let his curiosity get the better of him and he ended up dying as a result. The term was used in a newspaper report about the death of this particular cat, all the way back in 1916 in New York.

“Curiosity Killed the Cat” Examples

You might use this saying in warning to someone who is potentially going to do something dangerous, for example, you might say something along the lines of ‘I’d think carefully before entering that condemned building, you know that curiosity killed the cat.’

Example Sentences

  • They say curiosity killed the cat. It didn’t do this poor filly any favours either.
  • The townspeople had learned the hard way that curiosity killed the cat – you stayed indoors if there was trouble.
  • Please stop prying into my private life. Remember, curiosity killed the cat.

Conversation Examples

There are many instances in which the term ‘curiosity killed the cat’ could be used in everyday conversation. If you are unsure of how you might use it, here are some examples to help you see how it can fit into a conversation.

Conversation 1:

  • Person 1: “I think I might look into the history of my partner, there’s something off about them.”
  • Person 2: “Are you certain you want to do that? You might find something you don’t like and you know what curiosity killed the cat.”

Conversation 2:

  • Person 1: “Get away from that cliff edge.”
  • Person 2: “I just want to see what is over the edge.”
  • Person 1: “You will fall, curiosity killed the cat.”

Other Ways to Say the Phrase

If you want to express the meaning of the idiomatic term ‘curiosity killed the cat’ in a different way, there are several things you could say in its place. here are some examples.

  • Mind your own business
  • Care killed the cat
  • Being too nosy can get you into trouble
  • Being curious can get you into trouble
  • Don’t ask so many questions
  • Mind your own affairs
  • It’s best to mind one’s own business

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