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More than one way to skin a cat

There’s more than one way to skin a cat is a proverb, which is a short, common saying or phrase that particularly gives advice or shares a universal truth. We will examine the meaning of the peculiar phrase there’s more than one way to skin a cat, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat means there are many ways to do something, there are many ways to achieve a goal. The oldest known use of the phrase dates back to 1854, in the work ’Way down East; or, Portraitures of Yankee Life by Seba Smith. However, there’s more than one way to skin a cat has its roots in older, similar phrases such as there are more ways to kill a cat than choking it with cream, found in the 1830s. It seems  that originally the animal in question was a dog, as a seventeenth-century proverb is there are more ways to kill a dog than hanging.


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Examples

What I don’t understand, however, is why law firms seem to believe that there is only one way to skin a cat. (The Globe and Mail)

Ajax this time round named a young starting XI but Mourinho has always done his own thing and shown that there is more than one way to skin a cat. (The Manchester Evening News)

“There aren’t a lot of ways to skin a cat — that’s BS,” Wakefield says with the conviction of a man who has coached football one way for 45 years. (The Ames Tribune)

While the accepted wisdom in the Championship is to play two men forward, prioritise percentage play – set pieces, crossing at high volume, long balls forward – and build a team around players who’ve proven themselves in that division, Wagner quickly proved that there was more than one way to skin a cat. (The Huddersfield Daily Examiner)

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