Talk:not enough room to swing a cat

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

British usage?[edit]

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?

—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 11:10, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

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