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wildcat


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Taken as a type of savagery and hot temper, especially in a woman.

From the early 19th century wildcat has been used to designate a person engaging in a risky or unsafe enterprise, or an unsound business undertaking. It was applied specifically to banks in the western US which, before the passing of the National Bank Act of 1863, fraudulently issued notes supported by little or no capital; the use of the name is said to derive from the fact that the notes of a bank in Michigan carried the device of a panther or ‘wild cat’.


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