The Etymologicon (Mark Forsyth)

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Hitting a stationary target was just too easy for the Tudors. So the best archers used to test themselves by putting a cat in a bag and hanging the bag from the branch of a tree. The ferocious feline would wriggle about and the sack would swing, and this exercise in animal cruelty provided the discerning archer with a challenge and English with a phrase.

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