not enough room to swing a cat

Slang Dictionary

not enough room to swing a cat definition


  1. tv.
    very crowded or cramped; [of a room] small, : It's really crowded in here. Not enough room to swing a cat.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

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.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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