Curiosity Killed the Cat
"Curiosity Killed the Cat" is a proverb warning that being too inquisitive can lead to trouble. This warning is generally in context with being too nosy and advises minding one's own business. Less commonly, it can also mean physical danger resulting from too much investigation, such as going into a dark basement after hearing an unknown noise.

This proverb originated as "care killed the cat" with the word care meaning worry or sorrow. The first found use of this phrase is in the 1598 play "Every Man in His Humour" written by the English playwright Ben Johnson. William Shakespeare seemingly appropriated this line the next year in his play "Much Ado About Nothing". The line appears in Shakespeare's play as: "What, courage man! what though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care."

"Curiosity Killed the Cat", as now commonly known, appears listed as an Irish proverb in an 1873 collection of proverbs by James Allan Mair as well as in a 1902 edition of proverbs by John Hendricks Bechtel. A short story by O. Henry entitled "Schools and Schools" refers to the saying by the statement: "Curiosity can do more things than kill a cat; and if emotions, well recognized as feminine, are inimical to feline life, then jealousy would soon leave the whole world catless."

An early 1900s evolution to "curiosity killed the cat" includes the rejoinder "but satisfaction brought it back". In a 1905 Galveston Daily News newspaper the quote was printed as: "Curiosity killed a cat, but it came back", but the phrase appears in full in a 1912 edition of the Titusville Herald. Perhaps the cat being brought back, or resurrected, refers to the fabled nine lives cats possess or because of having satisfied it's curiosity.

Use Example - I wouldn't ask the boss why Sally got fired, as you know, curiosity killed the cat.

Source Tags : Shakespeare     Concept Tags : Animal