There isn't a cat in hell's chance

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Hello forum:)
I was curious to know the origin of the idiomatic expression there isn't a cat in hell's chance like in this example:

As long as Mike is in charge at the HR Department there isn't a cat in hell's chance that you may get that position.

Can you also tell me if it is more a BE or AE creation?

Thank you :)
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    It's a very common expression in BrE - so perhaps that answers your question, chipulukusu:)

    EDIT: Oh, I see you were asking about the origin. I'll explore....
    Last edited:


    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    The snowball version is actually a variant on the cat original, which was "you stand no more chance than a cat in hell without claws". The origin is unknown, but the idiom seems to stem from the idea that a cat without claws would have a hard time surviving anywhere, and therefore no chance at all in an environment as hostile as hell is presumed to be. It first appeared in print in the 18th century, and would appear to be of BE origin.
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