not enough room to swing a cat

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.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: not dry behind the ears
Next Definition: not even
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for not enough room to swing a cat
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing not enough room to swing a cat
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature