catbird seat

noun

Definition of catbird seat

  1. :  a position of great prominence or advantage

catbird seat was our Word of the Day on 09/27/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of catbird seat in a Sentence

  1. your fluency in French should put you in the catbird seat for getting the Paris posting

  2. in the wake of the natural disaster, this obscure bureaucrat was suddenly and unexpectedly thrust into the catbird seat

Did You Know?

In the catbird seat was among the numerous folksy expressions that legendary baseball broadcaster Red Barber used to delight listeners. Some say he invented the expression; others say that he dug it up from his Southern origins. But the truth may be far stranger than those rumors. In a 1942 short story titled "The Catbird Seat," James Thurber featured a character, Mrs. Barrows, who liked to use the phrase. Another character, Joey Hart, explained that Mrs. Barrows must have picked up the expression from Red Barber. To Red, according to Joey, sitting in the catbird seat meant 'sitting pretty,' like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him. But, according to Barber's daughter, it was only after Barber read Thurber's story that he started using "in the catbird seat" himself.

1942

First Known Use of catbird seat

1942



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