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The bee’s knees

The bee’s knees

Let’s just say that, given the fact that you found your way to Apto’s blog, you’re the cat’s pajamas… the bee’s knees… Are we aging ourselves when we say that?

(This is idiom definitely fits in with an older generation.)


As defined in Linda and Roger Flavell’s book Dictionary of Idioms and Their Origins, “the bee’s knees” is an idiom that means “undisputedly the best” (page 29).


Sheryl really has taken all that we’ve put on her plate during the last quarter and excelled. She’s the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees.


This idiom came about in the exact same era as “the cat’s pajamas.” This one is a little tougher to explain, and we think that the Flavells do it best, so we’ll let them do the talking on this one:

“Amongst the shocking and fun-loving flappers of America in the 1920s, there was a vogue for concocting bizarre phrases that compared something deemed to be ‘the best’ with improbable or non-existent parts of animal anatomy: the gnat’s elbows, the flea’s eyebrows, the snake’s hips, and the elephant’s instep are just a few of dozens. A main instigator of this fad for whimsical expressions of enthusiasm was Tad Dorgan, an influential American cartoonist and newspaper columnist. The bee’s knees probably survives on the strength of its pleasing rhyme.” (page 29)

How many of these animal idioms have you heard??