a dog used to help round up livestock.

noun phrase

A scapegoat: We are the catch dogs for everyone who comes along looking for something to kick at

[1980s+; evolved fr Southern dialect catch dog, ”dog used to round up animals, herd dog,” perhaps because the herded animals would kick at the dogs]


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    see under catch red-handed

  • Catchline

    a word, phrase, or sentence used, especially in advertising or journalism, to arouse or call attention. a line in which a catchword appears. a line of lesser importance, set shorter or sometimes in smaller type than the lines above and beneath it. Theater. a line of comic dialogue expected to elicit laughter. slug1 (def 10a).

  • Catch napping

    Surprise, take unawares. This term is often used in the passive, as in The United States was really caught napping the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor . It originated in the mid-1500s as to be taken napping also see under: off guard Historical Examples But he was one of those wary old watch-dogs who […]

  • Catch off guard

    see under off guard

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