I read this book and I saw this:

About the author: Penn Brooks is a former cathy with 12 years of parochial experience under his belt. He currently lives in New England, where he writes, draws and avoids wearing plaid ties.

I, suspecting it could be 'catholic', searched and searched. All that I could get were names explanations.

  • 1
    I've never encountered that. But the collocation with parochial makes it clear that your guess is right.
    – Colin Fine
    Jun 2, 2021 at 21:11
  • My guess would be it is a term for a teacher in a parochial Catholic school.
    – James K
    Jun 2, 2021 at 22:03
  • I've never heard the term "cathy" to mean anything. Have you read the book? Is it a jargon term introduced in the book?
    – gotube
    Jun 2, 2021 at 23:47
  • I finished the book the day before yesterday. It's a children's book. This is really about the author, and I'm not sure whether it's a jargon.
    – T. K.
    Jun 4, 2021 at 14:28
  • [just jargon, not a jargon]. I have answered the question and you seem not to have seen it. Unless you (anyone here) are familiar with the US term, preppy, you probably won't get this one.
    – Lambie
    Jun 8, 2021 at 18:53

2 Answers 2


a cathy here:

A former student at a Catholic high school.

It could be a nickname for people who went to a Catholic high school. That is typical in Am. English. High schools or the type of high school are given nicknames. For example: A preppy. Someone who went to a prep school (college preparatory). It means he is a former student at a [name] Catholic high school.

  • A preppy
  • A cathy
  • Thank you upvoter. Whew. :)
    – Lambie
    Jul 11, 2021 at 17:24

For the specific example you chose, "Cathy" means the same thing as "catholic"

Penn Brooks is a former catholic with 12 years of parochial experience under his belt.

Some Americans believe that people who all have the same first name also have the same personality.

Phrases like, "she such a Kathy," are used as an insult.

The following, does NOT use the word "Kathy" as a pejorative:

About the Author: Penn Brooks is a former cathy with 12 years of parochial experience under his belt.

  • It seems very unlikely that he would mention his former religious identification in a kids comedy book about life at a private school. These "author biographies" are usually light hearted. Talking about losing his religion is the opposite!
    – James K
    Jun 7, 2021 at 23:16
  • In these cases, embarrassment seems to prime and everyone just jumps ship. I know, this has happened to me. No worries.
    – Lambie
    Jun 9, 2021 at 14:46

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