Browse by letter

When the cat is away, the mice will play

This is a very old proverb, dating back to the sixteenth century. It means that when the person in authority is away, those under him will take advantage of his absence.

‘We had a simply marvelous time at school today. Mrs. Brown was in bed with ‘flu’, and poor little Miss Smith can’t keep order for nuts!’

‘When the cat is away, the mice will play, right?’