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See also: fatcat and fat-cat



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The phrase was first used in the 1920s in the United States to describe rich political donors.

These capitalists have what the organisation needs - money to finance the campaign. These men are needed in political circles as 'Fat Cats'. - F.R. Kent, 1928

By the middle of the 20th century the term was being applied more widely to any wealthy individual.


fat cat (plural fat cats)

  1. (slang) A rich person who contributes to a political campaign.
  2. (slang) Any affluent person who is perceived to have profited from the labour of others.
  3. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see fat,‎ cat.