Monday, June 17, 2002

"Catbird Seat"

Merriam-Webster's "Word of the Day" for June 17, 2002. The origin of the phrase "in the catbird seat," meaning a "position of great prominence or advantage," is normally attributed to legendary baseball announcer Red Barber. But researchers at Merriam-Webster's have traced it to a 1942 short story by James Thurber titled "The Catbird Seat." Although Barber certainly popularized the phrase, he started using it himself only after reading Thurber's story.

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