Names

Here are the origins of the names of the CATS from the musical. This was compiled by my sister Daedal and I'm using it with her permission.

Admetus
Meaning: unknown
Origin: Greek
From: "Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter" - The Naming of Cats
Significance: In Greek mythology, Admetus was the king of Pherae in Thessaly, who was famed for hospitality and justice. The condemned god Apollo chose to live and work for him, and was so impressed that he blessed Admetus' herds, saved him from the goddess Artemis and won him his wife, Alcestis. Eventually, Apollo saved Admetus from death by haggling with the Fates, who said another could take his place. When they could find no one willing, Alcestis died for her husband, however, she was rescued by Heracles who heard of the situation and wrestled with the god of death for her soul.

Alonzo
Meaning: Noble and ready
Origin: Spanish
From: "Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James," - The Naming of Cats
Significance: Alonzo is widely held to be the third in command of the Jellicle Tribe after Old Deuteronomy and Munkustrap. He is the last to leave (after Munkustrap) when Macavity first comes, and the first to step forward when Munkustrap is injured while fighting.

Asparagus
Meaning: A type of vegetable
Origin: Latin (from Greek)
From: "His name... is really Asparagus," - Gus: The Theatre Cat

Bill Bailey
Meaning: (William) Helmet
Origin: English
From: "Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey" - The Naming of Cats

Bombalurina
Meaning: (Ballerina) Female graceful dancer
Alt. meaning: (Bomba) Puerto Rican music; (Lurina) Luring : Luring Music
Origin: Italian
From: "Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum" - The Naming of Cats
Significance: Bombalurina is generally one of the better dancers among the cast, since she has centre stage in one part of the Jellicle Ball and her own duet dance with Demeter.

Carbucketty
Meaning: "Knockabout cat"
Significance: Named by TS Elliot, but not actually in any of the lyrics or poems.

Cassandra
Meaning: She who entangles men
Origin: Greek
Significance: In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the name of the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. When Apollo fell in love with her, he granted her the gift of prophecy, but when she did not love him back he added a curse which meant no one would ever believe her.

Coricopat
Meaning: (Chirico) "Painter"
Alt meaning: (Choric) Choir
Origin: Italian
From: "Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat," - The Naming of Cats

Demeter
Meaning: Barley-mother
Origin: Greek
From: "Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter" - The Naming of Cats
Significance: In Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of agriculture and grain. She became the bringer of the seasons when she refused to make things grow in winter because it was then her daugher, Persephone, had to stay in the Underworld.

Electra
Meaning: Amber
Origin: Greek
From: "Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter" - The Naming of Cats
Significance: In Greek mythology, Electra was the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. After returning to her home, she found her father killed by her mother's lover. Later, after meeting at their father's grave, Electra and her brother Orestes decided to take revenge and killed their mother and her lover. They were condemned for it and chased until death by Erinyes, the Greek personification of vengeance.

Etcetera
Meaning: "And so forth"
Origin: Latin
Significance: Etcetera is one of the kitten who always has a lot of energy and is full of personality. Her name seems to reflect her never-ending cheer.

Exotica
Meaning: "Music genre - imitating tropical styles"
Alt meaning: Exotic; foreign
Origin: Latin
Significance: Exotica is a cat who only appears in the video version of CATS, therefore she is something new to the musical - something foreign. Her markings and skin colour seem to place her somewhere tropical.

George
Meaning: Farmer
Origin: Greek
From: "Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey" - The Naming of Cats

Gilbert
Meaning: Bright pledge
Origin: English
From: "Then Gilbert gave the signal to his fierce Mongolian horde;" - Growltiger's Last Stand

Grizabella
Meaning: (Gris) Grey; (Bella) Beautiful : Grey Beauty
Alt meaning: (Griz) Grizzled; (Bella) Beautiful : Grizzled beauty
Origin: English
From: "Grizabella, the Glamour Cat" - Grizabella: The Glamour Cat
Significance: She once was a glamour cat who was extremely beautiful, but now her old age is showing and she is beautiful no more.

Gus
Meaning: (Augustus) Great
Origin: Latin
From: "Gus is the Cat at the Theatre Door." - Gus: The Theatre Cat

Jemima
Meaning: Dove
Origin: Hebrew
Significance: Jemima is often seen as the youngest and most innocent kitten of the junkyard. She is also the kitten who first understands Grizabella. A dove is a symbol of peace.

Jellylorum
Meaning: Lillie cat
Alt meaning: (Lore) Wisdom; tradition
From: "Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum" - The Naming of Cats
Significance: TS Elliot's cat

Jennyanydots
Meaning: (Jennifer) Fair phantom
Origin: English
From: "Her name is Jennyanydots" - The Old Gumbie Cat

Macavity
Meaning: (Cavity) "A hollow place"
From: "Macavity's a Mystery Cat: " - Macavity: The Mystery Cat
Significance: Macavity is direct comparison to the character Professor Moriarty, the archenemy of Sherlock Holmes, who was also called the "Napolean of Crime."

Mr Mistoffelees
Meaning: (Mephistopheles) Devil
Origin: Latin
From: "You ought to ask Magical Mr. Mistoffelees " - Magical Mister Mistoffelees
Significance: The reference to the Devil in his name is due to the fact that he is magical, and in the past magic and the supernatural was considered evil and therefore a work of demons or witches.

Mungojerrie
Meaning: (Jerry from Gerald) Spear rule
Origin: English
From: "Was it Mungojerrie?" - Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer

Munkustrap
Meaning: unknown
From: "Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat," - The Naming of Cats

Old Deuteronomy
Meaning: The second law
Origin: Latin
From: "Old Deuteronomy's lived a long time; " - Old Deuteronomy
Significance: Deuteronomy is the name of the fifth book in the Christian Bible. This emphasises his power and extreme age.

Plato
Meaning: Strong shoulders
Origin: Greek
From: "Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter" - The Naming of Cats
Significance: Plato was the name of a ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician, the second of the famed trio: "Socrates, Plato and Aristotle". He famously wrote quotes such as "The unexamined life is not worth living" and "False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil".

Pouncival
Meaning: (Percival) Pierce valley
Alt meaning: (Pounce) "Leap, lunge, spring"
Origin: French
Significance: Pouncival is one of the energetic kittens, who is normally seen climbing and jumping off and around the set. It is not found in any lyrics or the original poems, but TS Elliot created the name and said it had a "Morte d'Arthur" flavour, which was a compilation of English and French Arthurian romances.

Rum Tum Tugger
Meaning: unknown
From: "The Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat:" - The Rum Tum Tugger

Rumpleteazer
Meaning: (Teaser) One who teases
Origin: Middle English
From: "Or Rumpleteazer?" - Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer

Skimbleshanks
Meaning: (Skimble) To damage out of mischief; (Shanks) Legs
From: "Skimbleshanks, The Railway Cat" - Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat

Tantomile
Meaning: Witch's cat

Tumblebrutus
Meaning: (Tumble) To roll; (Brute) Beast : Rolling beast
Origin: French
From: "And his bosun, Tumblebrutus," - Growltiger's Last Stand
Significance: Tumblebrutus is generally the cat who does the impressive "tumbles" - rolls, jumps and flips, like gymnastics or acrobatics.

Victoria
Meaning: Winner, conqueror
Origin: Latin
From: "Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey" - The Naming of Cats
Significance: Queen Victoria I was a famous queen of England from 1837 to her death in 1901, the longest British monarch yet. The Victorian era expanded throughout her 63-year rule. She spent three-quarters of her life as queen, the highest British ratio yet. She outlived three of her children, eleven of her grandchildren and three of her great-grandchildren.