THE traditional Northern schoolyard insult ‘Has your cat died?’ has been named the most incomprehensible in human history.
Used to indicate that a person’s trousers are too short, the insult has only rarely been understood by anyone and never without explanation.
Linguist Dr Helen Archer said: “It’s a complex chain of illogic to follow, even for adults. I’ll take you through it.
“Firstly, the insult posits that the victim has a cat. More than two-thirds get lost right there because they haven’t, but go with it. Second, it assumes that cat has recently died.
“Third, and here’s where it gets abstract, it suggests there is a hitherto unknown funerary ritual for said pet requiring the owner to wear their trousers at half-mast, as a ship would fly a flag.
“To require someone to hypothesize an entire set of feline mourning rituals of the Northern tribes is too much for an insult. This is the playground. They could’ve just said ‘wankhands’.”
54-year-old Roy Hobbs said: “I was hit with ‘has your cat died?’ in the spring of 1979. I just got it, last year.”