November 14th, 2021

words 6
  • sallymn

Sunday Word: Catch-as-catch-can

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

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

Examples:

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)

Origin:

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)