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Chatty Cathy

Chatty Cathy is an idiom with an unusual origin. We will examine the definition of chatty Cathy, where the idiom comes from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A chatty Cathy is a person who talks incessantly without saying anything of consequence. The idiom chatty Cathy is derived from a toy that was manufactured in America from 1959 through 1965. Chatty Cathy was a doll manufactured by the Mattel company that “spoke” when the child pulled a string. The Chatty Cathy doll would “speak” one of eleven prerecorded phrases imprinted on a tiny record installed inside the doll. The Mattel company trademarked the term chatty and followed production of the Chatty Cathy doll with  Chatty Baby, Tiny Chatty Baby, Tiny Chatty Brother, Charmin’ Chatty and Singin’ Chatty.  Though the Chatty Cathy doll has long been out of production, the idiom chatty Cathy is still fairly popular. Note that when referring to the doll, both words are capitalized as in Chatty Cathy. When using the term as an idiom, only the name Cathy is capitalized as in chatty Cathy.


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Examples

If I ran well, I felt I got as much attention as male runners like David Gillick and Paul Hession, at times possibly more because I was such a ‘chatty Cathy’ off the track. (The Irish Examiner)

Soccer dynamo David Beckham and chatty Cathy comedian Kevin Hart have gotten their buddy act together and taken in on the road. (The New York Daily News)

Other things on our wish lists back then were Lincoln Logs, building blocks—the pre-Lego variety—Chatty Cathy (and later, Chatty Baby) dolls, Troll dolls (you just had to be there to understand), View-masters, chemistry sets, games like Pick up Sticks and Tiddly Winks, and Slinky. (The Tri-County News)

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