Not Enough Room to Swing a Cat (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Not Enough Room to Swing a Cat"?

This saying derives from the 16th Century, when sailors were punished by being whipped with a cat o' nine tails. Below deck, there was no room to yield the whip, so the punishment was administered on deck, which afforded sufficient room to swing the cat.

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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs