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Whip one’s weight in wild cats vs Whip the cat

whip one’s weight in wild cats—(U.S. sl.) be able to fight vigorously; defeat a powerful opponent:

  • I was to get acquainted with Alta Ashbury, win her confidence, let her feel that I was capable of whipping my weight in wild cats.

whip the cat—(sl.)

1. (U.S. dated) work as an itinerant tailor, carpenter, etc.:

  • The pioneer shoemaker was Henry Demoney, who was one of the old-fashioned eccentricities who “whipped the cat.”

2. (Austral.) lament over smth.; reproach oneself:

  • It was no use whipping the cat about it now, Morris pointed out.

3. (Austral.) take one’s frustration out on an innocent person:

  • If there’s anything wants doing you’ve only got to ask Macy. And he makes light of it, too. No whipping the cat: no setting himself up as a little tin god.