"напугал кота сосиской" seems to be an idiom. Is it? What does it mean?

  • 2
    English language analog is «Scare me with a good time», but it's not as poetic.
    – v010dya
    Sep 3, 2014 at 4:18

3 Answers 3


Yes. It's an idiom. It means "to scare a cat with a sausage" - a ridiculous threat.

  • Ahhh, Google only gave me "frightened cat sausage" ;-)
    – arney
    Sep 1, 2014 at 23:56
  • 3
    Actually it means "scared a cat with a Vienna sausage" (not "to scare", and sausage is колбаса)
    – user31264
    Sep 2, 2014 at 0:23

There are some variations of this, like:

Напугал кота сметаной


Напугал кота котлетой!

Means "trying to scare a cat with a piece of steak"

Also some other animals are involved to in the similar pattern and meaning:

Напугал кобеля буханкой

Above animals do like a food mentioned, but a hedgehog just doesn't care, isn't afraid of:

Напугал ежа голой жопой

Means "[you are] scaring a hedgehog with a bare ass"

other: напугал козла капустой


напугал козла огородом


напугал барана новыми воротами

The same attitude can be expressed by a bit different but close analogue:

не так страшен черт, как его малюют

  • 5
    +1 for scaring a hedgehog
    – power
    Sep 2, 2014 at 11:13

In addition to many examples that Ruslan Gerasimov has made there is

Только не бросай меня в терновый куст.

A phrase which comes from a folk tale, where a rabbit begs a wolf who has captured him, to do whatever the wolf desires except throwing the said rabbit into a thorn bush. Once the wolf throws him there, the rabbit quickly runs away.

Unlike the other variants, which signify the futility of the action, this one actually baits it.

  • 3
    That's an idiom coming from the English language - the original source is Cherokee and African American 19th century story Bre'r Rabbit and the Briar Patch; published wider and around the world in 20th century.
    – Peteris
    Sep 9, 2014 at 21:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.