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Re: [Czechlist] TERM: catbird seat

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  • Simon Vaughan
    ... Just to give you a sense of why the phrase means what it does, I am ... The catbird (scientific name: dumetella carolinensis) is relatively common in the
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 1, 2001
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      > >In my position I have a catbird seat on new and emerging technologies.
      >
      > To be in the catbird seat means that you are in top position, looking
      > far down on all your competitors. There's a sense that no one is even
      > close to being able to compete with you effectively, and there's also
      > a sense that you are relaxed and contented in that advantageous
      > position.

      Just to give you a sense of why the phrase means what it does, I am
      reproducing this e-mail (by one Bob), which I found on the Net:

      ---
      The catbird (scientific name: dumetella carolinensis) is relatively common
      in the the southern U.S., a dark gray bird with a black cap. It is related
      to the mockingbird, and is aggressively territorial, driven by instinct to
      secure a place at the top of the tallest tree in its territory. From
      there, it can scout out all invaders. The dictionaries list the earliest
      usage of "sittin' in the catbird seat" as 1942, but I can go one further
      and tell you that it was popularized by the late Red Barber, the great
      baseball announcer, raconteur, and Southern gentleman. He may or may not
      have originated it, but the phrase wll be forever associated with him.
      ---

      Simon
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