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Catch a Tartar

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The biter bit. Grose says an Irish soldier in the Imperial service, in a battle against the Turks, shouted to his comrade that he had caught a Tartar. “Bring him along, then,” said his mate. “But he wonʹt come,” cried Paddy. “Then come along yourself,” said his comrade. “Arrah!” replied Paddy, “I wish I could, but he wonʹt let me.”

We are like the man who boasted of having caught a Tartar, when the fact was that the Tartar had caught him.”—Cautions for the Times.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Cats
Catacomb
Cataian
Catalogue Raisonné (French)
Catamaran
Cataphrygians
Catarrh
Catastrophe
Catch
Catch a Crab (To)
Catch a Tartar
Catch as Catch can
Catch Me at It!
Catch the Speaker’s Eye (To)
Catch Out (To)
Catch your Hare (First)
Catch-Club
Catehpenny
Catchpole
Catch Weights
Catch-word