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Cat's table

Today I learned about the “Katzentisch”, a German word which literally translates to “cat’s table”. In modern language in English as well as in German (at least in my experience), it would be called “Children’s table”. However, since the term originates in medieval times when cats were symbols for bad luck and witchcraft, a “cat’s table” was a negative term, basically a synonym for the floor. Means to say someone was eating from the “cat’s table” was basically saying that someone was so lowlife or poor that they can’t afford a proper table. These days, as already mentioned, it’s sometimes still used to talk about the children’s table some might know from larger birthdays but has way less of its original negative meaning.

I came across this when watching “Wissen macht Ah!”, after one of the show hosts recommended this episode on Mastodon for unrelated reasons.