Humans have always depended on animals. From the beginning of human history， wild animals provided food， clothing and sometimes medicine.
We may not depend as much on wild animals now. But we hear about them every day. Americans use the names of animals in many ways.
Many companies use animals to make us want to buy their goods. Automobile companies， for example， love to show fast horses when they are trying to sell their cars. They also name their cars for other fast， powerful animals.
Automobile manufacturers and gasoline companies especially like to use big cats to sell their products. They like lions， tigers and wildcats.
When Americans say wildcat， they usually mean a lynx， an ocelot or a bobcat. All these cats attack quickly and fiercely. So wildcats represent something fast and fierce.
What better way is there to sell a car than to say it is as fast as a wildcat. Or， what better way is there to sell gasoline than to say that using it is like putting a tiger in your tank.
An early American use of the word wildcat was quite different. It was used to describe members of Congress who declared war on Britain in 1812. A magazine of that year said the wildcat congressmen went home. It said they were unable to face the responsibility of having involved their country in an unnecessary war.
Wildcat also has been used as a name for money. It was used this way in the 1800s. At that time， some states permitted banks to make their own money. One bank in the state of Michigan offered paper money with a picture of a wildcat on it.
Some banks， however， did not have enough gold to support all the paper money they offered. So the money had little or no value. It was called a wildcat bill or a wildcat bank note. The banks who offered this money were called wildcat banks.
A newspaper of the time said those were the days of wildcat money. It said a man might be rich in the morning and poor by night.
Wildcat was used in another way in the 1800s. It was used for an oil well or gold mine that had almost no oil or gold in it. Dishonest developers would buy such property. Then they would sell it and leave town with the money. The buyers were left with worthless holes in the ground. Today， wildcat oil wells are in areas that are not known to have oil.
Yet another kind of wildcat is the wildcat strike. That is a strike called without official approval by a union. During World War II， an American publication accused wildcat strikers of slowing government production.
as fast as a wildcat 像野猫一样快。
“tiger”是美国埃索（ESSO）石油公司的老虎牌机油。“put a tiger in your tank”是该公司给汽油产品做的标准化广告语，意思是机油效果良好，如同把老虎放入油箱，也就是指他们的油很猛，能给汽车提供强效动力。为了能快速结合老虎形象对该汽油产品的特质进行正面想象，把隐含的意义表达出来，我们可以把该广告语试译为“强劲动力，如虎添翼”。
wildcat congressmen 意思是莽撞的国会议员。wildcat 的意思是（尤指在财政金融或商业上）鲁莽的，冒险的，不可靠的。
wildcat bill 和wildcat bank note 指价值很低或者几乎没有价值的纸币。
wildcat banks 野猫银行，指美国1863年《国民银行法》通过以前成立的资本极少或根本无资本但发行货币的银行。1836年美国第二银行关闭之后，直到1863年美国《国民通货法》（一年后进行了修改，称为《国民银行法》）的颁布，在这27年里，美国进入了自由银行时期，银行体系完全由私人（非公司）和根据各州发给的公司执照来经营的银行组成，开办银行成了一种赚钱的方法，因而那时又称为“野猫银行时期”。
wildcat money 指准备金不足而发行的纸币。
wildcat oil wells 野猫油井、初探井，指未探明是否有石油的探井。
wildcat strike 野猫式罢工、自发罢工，指未经工会正式批准、工人自发进行的罢工。wildcat strikers 当然就是指进行野猫式罢工的工人了。