No room to swing a cat

Definition

This idiom is used to describe a small or cramped living space, where there is not enough room for a person to do something.

Examples

The apartment was so small, there wasn’t even room to swing a cat!

We had to move out because there was no room to swing a cat in our old house.

The closet was so full that there was no room to swing a cat.

Origin

The origin of this phrase is believed to be from a punishment aboard a ship, where sailors would swing a whip known as a ‘cat o’ nine tails’ to punish someone.

FAQs

Q1

What does ‘No room to swing a cat’ mean?

A1

This idiom is used to describe a small or cramped living space, where there is not enough room for a person to do something.