Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dead cat bounce

I like obscure slang expressions, and here's one that came up in the presidential election, and I've been looking for a chance to use it.

A dead cat bounce. It refers to a brief increase after a rapid decrease, but the decrease is expected to continue. (In the election coverage, someone referred to a rise in McCain's poll numbers as a dead cat bounce.) This expression both describes a pattern we might not have noticed otherwise, and it's anti-cat, both of which are a plus for me.

Here's my usage: I hope that my losing weight now reflects a true lifestyle change, but I worry that it's just a dead cat bounce on my way to obesity.

How about you? Any good uses of this expression?

1 comment:

Jay Livingston said...

I'm not so sure that the phrase implies a continued decrease. The idea is that even a dead cat will bounce if dropped from a great enough height. So I don't necessarily see it as going below the level of the pavement.

Years ago, long before the current meltdown, I owned stock that went down precipitously. I called my broker (who also happened to be my cousin) and asked if I should sell. He said we might wait a little bit and hope for a dead cat bounce.