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kitty-corner adv, adj

Also kittacorner(ed), kitter-corner(ed), kitty-cornered; for addit varr see quots[Prob folk-etym for catty-corner (at catercorner adj)]Note: It is not always possible to distinguish adv from adj uses.

1 Diagonally, obliquely; crooked, askew; hence prep (phrr) kitty-corner (from), ~ (to) diagonally across from.chiefly North, North Midland, WestSee Map and Map Section

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  • 1890 DN 1.8, Kittycornered . . would be an easy development from cattycornered.
  • 1896 DN 1.419 NY, Kitter- . . cornered.
  • 1905 DN 3.62 eNE, Kittercorner(ed), kittacorner(ed), kittycorner(ed). . . See cattercornered.
  • [Ibid 60, The building is cattacorner(ed) from the court house.]
  • 1910 DN 3.444 wNY, Kittacornered, kittycornered. . . See catacornered.
  • [Ibid 438, Catacornered. . . Diagonally across from.]
  • 1912 DN 3.580 wIN, Kitty-cornered.
  • 1942 Berrey–Van den Bark Amer. Slang 42.4, Diagonal(ly); cater-cornered. . . kitty-catty-corner, kitty-catty-cornered, kitty-corner, kitty-cornered.
  • 1943 LANE Map 547 (Cater-cornered), [The forms kitty-corner(ed) are common throughout NEng in reference to diagonal motion; 4 infs gave the form kitty-corners and 2 kitter-corner(ed). c25 infs used kitty-corner(ed) in reference to something oriented at an angle to something else or (rarely) to the vertical.] 1 inf, Kitty-corner, of two buildings on opposite corners; 1 inf, Kitty-corner, of two buildings facing each other across a street (not at a corner) but not exactly opposite; 1 inf, Kitty-cornered, of a house front not parallel with the street; 1 inf, Kitty-cornered, of something intentionally set at an angle; 1 inf, A bench is kitter-cornered if it’s [kəˈrilɪn ˈoᴜvə] (i.e. about to fall).
  • 1950 WELS WI (On the opposite corner of a square, diagonally: “The drug store is _____the gas station.”) 25 Infs, Kitty-corner from; 3 Infs, Kitty-cornered from; 1 Inf, Kitter-corner from; 9 Infs, Kitty-corner; 3 Infs, Kitty-corner to; (“He nailed the boards on _____”) 2 Infs, Kitty-corner; 1 Inf, Kitty-cornered; (To go across at an angle: “If we have to walk, let’s _____;it’s shorter.”) 5 Infs, Go kitty-corner; 1 Inf, Cut kitty-corner.
  • 1954 Harder Coll. cwTN, Kitty-corner (catty-corner), to go . . to cross at an angle. . . “He cut kitty-cornered ’cross the field.”
  • 1965–70 DARE
    Qu. MM14, If a drugstore is on one corner of a square and a gas station is on the far corner . . “The drugstore is _____the gas station.”
    142 Infs, chiefly Nth, N Midl, West, Kitty-corner from; 56 Infs, chiefly Nth, N Midl, CA, Kitty-corner to; 44 Infs, chiefly Nth, N Midl, West, Kitty-corner; FL31, 38, IA27, MN26, 33, MS42, SC5, UT4, Kitty-cornered from; CA80, MA73, NY68, 217, VA11, Kitty-cornered to; CO17, ME19, MO37, OH78, Kitty-cornered; [MA5, 6, Kitty-cornering;] MI2, Kitty-cornered across the block; MI54, Kitty-corner of; NY30, Kitter-corner; NY123, Kitter-corner from; OH18, Kitra-corner from;
    Qu. MM16, If you’re walking with somebody to the other corner of a square, and you want to save steps . . “It’ll be shorter if we _____.”
    27 Infs, esp Nth, N Midl, CA, Go kitty-corner; MN26, Go kitty-cornered; CA80, Walk kitty-corner; MN12, Went kitty-corner;
    Qu. KK70, Something that has got out of proper shape: “That house is all _____.”
    Inf MI9, Kitty-cornered;
    Qu. MM1, . . ‘Opposite to’ . . “The shed is _____the barn.”
    Inf CA74, Kitty-corner to; CA122, NY163, Kitty-corner; WI34, Kitty-cornered;
    Qu. MM13, The table was nice and straight until he came along and knocked it _____
    Infs OH5, VA99, Kitty-corner; NY123, Kitter-corner;
    Qu. MM15, If a carpenter nails a board crossing another board at an angle . . “He nailed the board on _____.”
    Infs MN40, MA5, Kitty-corner; VA11, Kitty-cornered.
  • 1965 DARE FW Addit csWI, Kitty-corner—Diagonally across an intersection. “The post office is across the street, kitty-corner.”
  • Ibid ME, Kitty-corner—of furniture: set in a corner, facing the center of the room.
  • 1967 DARE Tape
    • CA13, They all lived over near the hot springs, they’re just kitty-corner from the Historical Society house.
  • 1973 Allen LAUM 1.402 SD (as of c1950), Kitty-corner: diagonally [1 inf].
kitty-corner adv, adj 1 + varr (Qq. MM14, MM16, KK70, MM1,     MM13, MM15)

2 also kitty-katty: Triangular; zigzag.esp New England

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  • 1890 DN 1.78 TN, In this [the Seguachee] valley [Tennessee] catty-cornered, for zigzag, is sometimes called kitty-catty-cornered.
  • 1892 DN 1.217 MA, Kitty-cornered [in reference to zigzag] . . Familiar to an elderly lady of Springfield, Mass., a native of Chicopee.
  • 1943 LANE Map 547 (Cater-cornered [triangular(ly) or on the bias]) 2 infs, MA, Kitty-corner; 2 infs, ME, VT, Kitty-cornered; 1 inf, wCT, Kitty-corner, of a triangular piece of land; 1 inf, cCT, A kitty-cornered place is one quick turn and then another; 1 inf, cMA, Kitty-corner, of two walls or fences built zigzag or intersecting at an angle of less than 90°; 1 inf, swNH, Kitty-katty = zigzag.
  • 1969 DARE
    Qu. W27, . . A three-cornered tear in a piece of clothing from catching it on something sharp
    Infs MA48, RI6, Kitty-corner tear.