Talk:not enough room to swing a cat
As a data point, I had never heard this phrase (before hearing it in the context of 猫の額 – you learn very queer English idioms from closest translations of Japanese ones; see blog post). I’m American, born 1970s, and assume this is not used in American, or has only regional or dialectical use. OTOH, it appears in a 1960 Jeeves novel, so presumably it was known (by some) in Britain at the time. Any clue on how common this is?
There is occurrence in Tobias Smollet's novel Humphrey Clinker from 1771, where Matt Brambble complains to Doctor Lewis about London :"I am pent up in frowzy lodgings, where there is not room enough to swing a cat "
- - Ok@y