Expression: "My hair stood on end"


After Amy’s explanation I was able to understand the difference between [color=red]ends of hair and [color=blue]roots of hair! Thank you, Amy :smiley:

Meaning of “points of hair”

Further to that, I would like to ask a question.

Why do we say our hair stands on end while it stands on its roots? :shock:


Hi Tom

My cat, Calamity Jane, could give you a really good live demonstration — especially if you brought a large dog with you. :lol: (Of course, that would be fur standing on end, but it’s the same principle. ;))

Here’s a link with a picture of a woman whose hair is literally standing on end:

But most of the time it’s an idiom and not quite so literal. :wink:
The idiom make someone’s hair stand on end means to make someone feel very frightened. … and+on+end



What a great name for a pet! I bet she does justice to it, though she wouldn’t chew tobacco, would she?

If you had a male cat now, would you call him Buffalo Bill?

PS: The cats that have decorated my life were named: Catalina (Katherine), Canela (Cinnamon), Tigre (Tiger), Rasputin, Romeo (who turned out to be a Juliet)…

Hi Conchita

In fact, I do have a male cat. My two cats are brother and sister (from the same litter). They are two German cats that only understand English — should they decide to understand anything at all, that is. :wink:
The male cat is named Sundance Kit. :smiley:

The choice of the name Calamity Jane proved to be somewhat prophetic as she has definitely had more than her fair share of calamities. But she’s a tough little cookie and has somehow survived every calamity (including being hit by a car, which required hip surgery and some serious dental work). This cat brings real meaning to the saying (and validates the superstition?) that cats have nine lives. :lol:

When I was young we had a cat name Charlie — who turned out to be very adept at producing kittens. :lol:

Going back to Tom’s question:

Tom, every hair has in essence two ends: The end that is the oldest part of the hair and the end that is attached to the head/body.

When you go to the hairdresser, it is simply understood which end is to be cut. And “split ends” only occur on the “old” ends.

When hair stands on end, I understand (like you) that each strand of hair is standing on the “new” end. :wink:


And you being a Yankee and all! Maybe people in the Far West call their cats names like ‘Philly’, ‘Manhattan’ or ‘Broadway’!

That’s two more than Spanish cats have!

Only seven? Poor kitties!

There seems to be some disagreement in Germany over how many lives cats have. Some say seven, and some say nine.
For “authoratative proof” (ahem ;)) as to how many lives a cat has, you can listen to John Lennon (on his Imagine album):

Well now you know that your
Cat has nine lives
Nine lives to itself
But you only got one
And a dog’s life ain’t fun
Mamma take a look outside