November 14th, 2021

words 6
  • sallymn

Sunday Word: Catch-as-catch-can

catch-as-catch-can [kach-uhz-kach-kan]

using any available means or method, hit or miss
without specific plan or order


But you can now see a significant shift toward empowering audience members to make their own choices: Ravinia, for example, will have two kinds of lawn seating, one in predetermined pods, the other the traditional catch-as-catch-can. (Chris Jones, Chicago’s great cultural comeback is coming much faster than we thought. Here’s why., Chicago Tribune, May 2021)

As we follow Lucas home, we learn that he’s living a life of struggling self-sufficiency – his house a dark mess and each meal is catch-as-catch-can with no money and resources. (Eric Eisenberg, Antlers Review: A Well Made Horror Movie That Doesn’t Stick The Landing, CinemaBlend, October 2021)

I was riding around in my car with a trunk full of books, going around bookstores, [attending] events. It was very much a catch-as-catch can sort of existence. (Ashish Ghadiali, SA Cosby: The holy trinity of southern fiction is race, class and se’, Patch, August 2021)


Variants of this term go back as far as the fourteenth century ('Was none in sight but cacche who that cacche might,' John Gower, c 1394) and appeared in John Heywood's 1546 collection of proverbs ('Catch that catch may'). More specifically, it is the name of both a children's game and a style of wrestling (also called freestyle) in which the wrestlers may get a hold on each other anyhow and anywhere. (The Free Dictionary)