room to swing a cat

not room to swing a cat

  (informal)
if there is not room to swing a cat in a place, that place is very small There isn't room to swing a cat in the third room, it's so tiny. Get a sofa in the living room? You'll be lucky - there isn't room to swing a cat in there.
See also: cat, room, swing
References in classic literature ?
Crupp had indignantly assured him that there wasn't room to swing a cat there; but, as Mr.
Accordingly it was carried out on deck as below there was not enough room to swing a cat.
We practiced in our drummer Billy Gough's garage, full of canoes and mooses' heads; there wasn't enough room to swing a cat, and a name was born.
The book Not Enough Room To Swing A Cat, by Martin Robson, discovers the origins of such phrases and offers surprising explanations.
So the only place a cat could be swung with the force required for the punishment was on deck, as below decks there was, literally, not enough room to swing a cat.
Being one of five children and a triplet, there wasn't room to swing a cat.