not enough room to swing a cat


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Related to not enough room to swing a cat: no room to swing a cat

not enough room to swing a cat

Very little or no space; very cramped quarters or proximity. Many families are forced to live in tiny apartments with not enough room to swing a cat. They overbooked the conference, and by the time we were all in the room there wasn't enough room to swing a cat.
See also: cat, enough, not, room, swing, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

not enough room to swing a cat

Rur. not very much space. Their living room was very small. There wasn't enough room to swing a cat. How can you work in a small room like this? There's not enough room to swing a cat.
See also: cat, enough, not, room, swing, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

not enough room to swing a cat

Very little space, cramped quarters, as in There's not enough room to swing a cat in this tent. This expression, first recorded in 1771, is thought to allude to the cat-o'-nine-tails, or "cat," a whip with nine lashes widely used to punish offenders in the British military.
See also: cat, enough, not, room, swing, to
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

not enough room to swing a cat

tv. very crowded or cramped; [of a room] small, It’s really crowded in here. Not enough room to swing a cat.
See also: cat, enough, not, room, swing, to
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

not enough room to swing a cat

Extremely cramped quarters. The origin of this expression is disputed. Many believe it alludes to swinging a cat-o’- nine-tails, a whip with nine lashes fastened to a handle, which was long used to punish offenders in the British military (it was formally abolished only in 1948). Others believe it refers to the Scots word cat for scoundrel, and thus to a criminal swinging from the gallows. Still others say it comes from the practice of swinging a live cat by its tail to serve as target practice for archers. Whatever the origin, the term was used by Smollett, Dickens, Twain, and numerous other writers.
See also: cat, enough, not, room, swing, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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