Cat o' nine tails

(redirected from Not enough room to swing a cat)
Also found in: Idioms.
Related to Not enough room to swing a cat: no room to swing a cat

Cat´ o' nine´ tails`

n.1.a whip used as an instrument of punishment consisting of nine pieces of knotted line or cord fastened to a handle; - formerly used to flog offenders on the bare back; - called also the cat. It was used in the British Navy to maintain discipline on board sailing ships.
References in periodicals archive ?
The book Not Enough Room To Swing A Cat, by Martin Robson, discovers the origins of such phrases and offers surprising explanations.
So the only place a cat could be swung with the force required for the punishment was on deck, as below decks there was, literally, not enough room to swing a cat.
Not Enough Room To Swing a Cat, by Martin Robson, is published by Conway, and you can order a copy for only pounds 6.