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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Origin of "No Room to Swing a Cat"

Popular etymology says that the cat in question was the cat o'nine tails, a whip for flogging prisoners, which got its name because the scars nine lashes left on a sailor's back looked like a cat's scratches. Punishment whippings were usually carried out on deck, because below deck there was not room to swing a cat.
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