More Than One Way to Skin a Cat – Meaning, Origin and Usage

In the world of idioms, there are seemingly endless ways to say the same thing. One such idiom is “there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” This phrase has been used for centuries and has many different interpretations.

But what does it mean? And why do we use it? Let’s take a closer look. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.

Meaning

The most common interpretation of this phrase is that there is more than one way to do something. In other words, there isn’t just one right way to do things. It is often used when someone is trying to tell you that their way of doing things is just as good as yours.

This phrase can also be used to show multiple ways to solve a problem. For example, let’s say you’re trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B. There are many different routes you could take and multiple modes of transportation you could use. In this case, you might say, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat,” to show that there are many different ways to solve the problem.

Example Usage

“I know you think your way is the only way to do things, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

“It’s hard to solve this problem; don’t just focus on one solution. Remember, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

“You should know that you are both right, after all, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

Origin

The exact origin of this phrase is unknown, but it is thought to be of British origin. It first appeared in print in the early 1800s. It dates back to 1854, when it was first recorded in print in the book “Way down East” by Seba Smith.

This phrase is thought to be derived from the practice of skinning animals. In the past, people would often skin animals for their fur. There was (and still is) more than one way to skin an animal. Over time, people started using this phrase to mean that there is more than one way to do anything.

Phrases Similar to More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

  • “Different strokes for different folks” – This phrase means that people like different things.”
  • “One size doesn’t fit all” means that what works for one person might not work for another.
  • “There’s more than one way to cook an egg” – this phrase means that there are many ways to do something.
  • “To each his own” – This phrase means that everyone has their way of doing things.

Phrases opposite to More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

  • “There’s no other way to do it” is meant to be said when something can only be done one way.
  • “No two ways about it” is used to say that something is undoubtedly true, and there’s no other interpretation.

What is The Correct Saying?

The appropriate way to say this idiom is “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

Ways People May Incorrectly Say More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

Many people say “More than one way to kill a cat” instead of “More than one way to skin a cat.” But this is incorrect. The phrase “more than one way to kill a cat” doesn’t make sense. So, if you want to use this idiom correctly, be sure to say “more than one way to skin a cat.”

Acceptable Ways to Phrase More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

  • Riding a bike or walking will get you to your destination, after all, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
  • Just because you use a dictionary and he uses the internet doesn’t make him wrong, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

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