not really American dialect?

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Mon Jul 2 20:49:04 UTC 2001

As a matter of fact, your query makes me wonder if there are indeed
dialectal differences in our communications with dogs and cats.  I think I
may have heard people "smooching" at dogs, if I correctly interpret what
you're describing, though I never used it myself.  As for saying "psssss"
to a cat--??!!!  I can confidently say I've never run across this and don't
even know what it's supposed to mean.  "Come here"?  Other than normal
"human talk" and made-up baby talk of one sort or another, the only thing
I've ever said to a cat is "Here, kittykittykitty!"  I thought that was
"standard cat English."


--On Monday, July 2, 2001 1:52 PM -0400 George Thompson
<george.thompson at NYU.EDU> wrote:

> Do any of you learned folk know why we smooch at dogs and pss at cats?
> The practice of pssing to cats evidently is old, since we call cats
> pussies.  No doubt we have smooched at dogs for as long.  Why don't we
> call dogs smoochies?

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

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