The origin of the English word 'cat', Old English catt, is thought to be the Late Latin word cattus, which was first used at the beginning of the 6th century. It was suggested that the word 'cattus' is derived from an Egyptian precursor of Coptic ϣⲁⲩ šau, "tomcat", or its feminine form suffixed with -t. The Late Latin word is also thought to be derived from Afro-Asiatic languages. The Nubian word kaddîska "wildcat" and Nobiin kadīs are possible sources or cognates. The Nubian word may be a loan from Arabic قَطّ qaṭṭ ~ قِطّ qiṭṭ. It is "equally likely that the forms might derive from an ancient Germanic word, imported into Latin and thence to Greek and to Syriac and Arabic". The word may be derived from Germanic and Northern European languages, and ultimately be borrowed from Uralic, cf. Northern Sami gáđfi, "female stoat", and Hungarian hölgy, "stoat"; from Proto-Uralic *käďwä, "female (of a furred animal)".
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