Interested in Language
Hello all users!
The earliest known example of the phrase is this:
One house I know more especially by Cursitors-Alley, where the Man, his Wife and Childe liv’d in a Room that look’d more like, for bigness, a big Chest than any thing else: They had not space enough (according to the vulgar saying) to swing a Cat in; so hot by reason of the closeness, and so nastily kept besides, that it took away a mans breath to put his head but within the doors.
In my opinion, the fragment "it took away a mans breath to put his head but within the doors" means "the act of putting one's head merely within the doors deprived a person of their breath because of the above-mentioned factors like closeness and so on.
Do you agree with my reasoning?
The article is about the proverb or saying "No room to swing a cat".
There is also an explanation for lack of apostrophe in the word "mans".
Yes, that's a likely interpretation.