The phrase "Curiosity killed the cat" originated as "Care killed the cat", which meant that worry killed the cat. The original phrase was first recorded in Ben Jonson's play, Every Man in His Humour, written in 1598: "Helter skelter, hang sorrow, Care'll kill a cat, up-tails all, and a Louse for the Hangman." 

Explanation taken from www.phrases.org.uk, an interesting site well worth a visit.

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