Meanings of, “There Are More Ways than One To Skin A Cat”
The phrase “there are more ways than one to skin a cat” means that there are other ways to achieve a goal that the one is chosen. It also refers that one can reach his goal by using various means if they put their mind to it.
Origin of, “There Are More Ways than One To Skin A Cat”
The phrase, “there are more ways than one to skin a cat” is stated to have originated from a short story “The Money Diggers” written by the American author, Seba Smith, in 1840, where it is stated as; “There are more ways than one to skin a cat, so are there more ways than one of digging for money.” Later, it was published in 1855, in the novel Westward Ho by an English author, Charles Kingsley, in which it goes thus; “There are more ways of killing a cat than choking it with cream.”
Examples from Literature
There Are More Ways Than One To Skin A Cat by Michael Spangenberg
There are more ways of killing a cat
Than choking it with cream.
There are more ways of killing a dog
Than choking him with pudding.
There are more ways to kill a dog
Than hanging. There are more ways than one
Of digging for dirty money.
There are indeed more ways to skin a cat
A dog, a bear, a salmon –
But there’s only one way to skin a cat offender
Turn his skin inside out to remove it from the body.
This allegorical poem speaks about various ways of killing a dog, a bear, a salmon, and a cat. He starts by saying that instead of choking a cat with cream, we should try other ways to kill it. Similarly, a dog can also be killed by using various ways. One can use many tactics to earn money and most methods mentioned are illegal, leading to dire consequences.
Yankee Humour, and Uncle Sam’s Fun by William Jerdan
“There are two ways to skin a cat, and two ways to win a heart; two ways to put on a shirt, and two ways to make a shift; two ways to tell a story, and two ways to bestow charity; half a dozen ways to destruction, but only one way to heaven—and that way is as much narrower than Theatre Alley as a sheep-path is narrower than the Third Avenue.”
In this excerpt, he talks about various ways of performing a certain task. For instance, there are two ways to skin a cat, to put on a shirt, to tell a story, and also two ways to give charity. Similarly, there are many ways to bring destruction to the earth; however, there is only one way to heaven. Although that path is not attractive, yet this narrow path will surely lead us to the desired path.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
“But then the Church came to the front, with an ax to grind; and she was wise, subtle, and knew more than one way to skin a cat — or a nation; she invented “divine right of things,” and propped it all around, brick by brick, with the Beatitudes — wrenching them from their good purpose to make them fortify an evil one.”
Mark Twain explains the phrase “there are more ways than one to skin a cat” with its actual meaning. He talks about the cause of superstitious that hung over his time in the perversion of the true Christian teachings. He comments on the wise and subtle role of the church how it defended the true spirit of the nation from the evil forces. The meanings of the phrase are literal and straightforward though the phrase is quoted partially.
The Money Diggers by Seba Smith
“THIS is a money digging world of ours; and, as it is said, “there are more ways than one to skin a cat,” so are there more ways than one of digging for money.”
The above lines show the importance of wealth in the contemporary world. She argues as there are many ways to skin a cat, so there are various ways to earn money. People can go to any extent and follow any direction to fill their coffers with gold. The phrase has been used in its literal meanings.
Example in Sentences
Example #1: “Mr. John, the president of the company, visited the site and figured out that the planned strategy did not work out. Therefore, he decided to try out new ways as there are more ways than one to skin a cat.”
Example #2: “James wanted to increase productivity before the holidays and gave them 5 ideas. Karen wondered why her boss seems to believe that there are more ways than one to skin a cat.”
Example #3: “Milo’s friend always applies the same technique to tackle every problem. However, his sister always finds new ways of believing there are more ways than one to skin a cat.”
Example #4: “The football coach boosted the confidence of his players after defeat by saying there are more ways than one to skin a cat.”
Example #5: “I liked Sandy’s innovative idea and wise opinion in the meeting because I also believed that there are more ways than one to skin a cat.”