look like something the cat dragged in

Idioms & Phrases

look like something the cat dragged in

Appear completely bedraggled, as in After running around in the rain for hours, I looked like something the cat dragged in. This expression alludes to a cat's bringing home birds or mice it has killed or savaged. [c. 1920]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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