Where did the expression raining cats and dogs originated?

Raining Cats and Dogs Idiom Meaning

Best Answer

The phrase is supposed to have originated in England in the 17th century.

City streets were then filthy and heavy rain would occasionally carry along dead animals.

Richard Brome's The City Witt, 1652 has the line 'It shall rain dogs and polecats'.

Also, cats and dogs both have ancient associations with bad weather.

5 Origins Of Famous Phrases

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What is the origin of the expression raining cats and dogs?

“Cats and dogs” may come from the Greek expression cata doxa, which means “contrary to experience or belief.” If it is raining cats and dogs, it is raining unusually or unbelievably hard. A false theory stated that cats and dogs used to cuddle into thatch roofs during storms and then be washed out during heavy rains.

Where did the saying come from raining cats and dogs?

Another theory is that in old England, they had hay roofs on their houses and the cats and dogs would sleep on the roof. When it rained, the roofs got slippery and the cats and dogs would slide off of the roofs. There for it was "Raining Cats and Dogs". "Rain Cats and Dogs" stems from the Norse Mythology.

Where did the phrase raining cats and dogs come from?

Another theory is that in old England, they had hay roofs on their houses and the cats and dogs would sleep on the roof. When it rained, the roofs got slippery and the cats and dogs would slide off of the roofs. There for it was "Raining Cats and Dogs". "Rain Cats and Dogs" stems from the Norse Mythology.

Why ‘Raining Cats and Dogs’ Is More Than an Expression

Where did cat cafes originate?

Although the origin of cat café is in Taiwan, the concept blossomed in Japan, where the first one named "Neko no Jikan" (lit.

When and where did golf originate?

The modern game of golf originated in 15th century Scotland. The 18-hole round was created at the Old Course at St Andrews in 1764. Golf's first major, and the world's oldest tournament in existence, is The Open Championship, also known as the British Open, which was first played in 1860 in Ayrshire, Scotland.

Where did the expression rack and ruin come from?

What's the origin of the phrase 'Rack and ruin'? It might be thought that the rack in this phrase refers to the medieval torture device, as in the phrase rack one's brains. This rack is however a variant of the now defunct word wrack, more usually known to us now as wreck.

Where did cats originally come from?

Domesticated cats all come from wildcats called Felis silvestris lybica that originated in the Fertile Crescent in the Near East Neolithic period and in ancient Egypt in the Classical period.

Where did the phrase it is raining cats and dogs come from?

Another theory is that in old England, they had hay roofs on their houses and the cats and dogs would sleep on the roof. When it rained, the roofs got slippery and the cats and dogs would slide off of the roofs. There for it was "Raining Cats and Dogs". "Rain Cats and Dogs" stems from the Norse Mythology.

'Raining Cats and Dogs' Origin | Have You Ever Wondered

Where does the idiom raining cats and dogs come from?

Another theory is that in old England, they had hay roofs on their houses and the cats and dogs would sleep on the roof. When it rained, the roofs got slippery and the cats and dogs would slide off of the roofs. There for it was "Raining Cats and Dogs". "Rain Cats and Dogs" stems from the Norse Mythology.

Where did the Coney Dog originated?

The variety is a fixture in Flint, Detroit, Jackson, Kalamazoo, and southeastern Michigan. The style originated in the early 20th century, with competing claims from American and Lafayette Coney Islands (1917) in Detroit, and Todoroff's Original Coney Island (1914) in Jackson.

Where did the word dog originated from?

Most linguists search the origin for the word “dog” in the Old Germanic language, which has spawned many modern English words. But still – in Germany the general term for dog is “hund”, and “hound” is a cognate of this word. One needs to look deeper to find where “dog” comes from.

Where did the corn dog originated?

Carl and Neil Fletcher lay such a claim, having introduced their "Corny Dogs" at the Texas State Fair sometime between 1938 and 1942. The Pronto Pup vendors at the Minnesota State Fair claim to have invented the corn dog in 1941.

Where did the name dog originate?

Most linguists search the origin for the word “dog” in the Old Germanic language, which has spawned many modern English words. But still – in Germany the general term for dog is “hund”, and “hound” is a cognate of this word. One needs to look deeper to find where “dog” comes from.

Why do we say: It's Raining Cats and Dogs?

Where is the saying raining cats and dogs come from?

Another theory is that in old England, they had hay roofs on their houses and the cats and dogs would sleep on the roof. When it rained, the roofs got slippery and the cats and dogs would slide off of the roofs. There for it was "Raining Cats and Dogs". "Rain Cats and Dogs" stems from the Norse Mythology.

Where does the saying raining cats and dogs?

Another theory is that in old England, they had hay roofs on their houses and the cats and dogs would sleep on the roof. When it rained, the roofs got slippery and the cats and dogs would slide off of the roofs. There for it was "Raining Cats and Dogs". "Rain Cats and Dogs" stems from the Norse Mythology.

Where did dog originated?

And as to where the process occurred, researchers studying dog and wolf DNA — most of it modern but some from ancient sources — have argued in recent years that dogs originated in East Asia, Mongolia, Siberia, Europe and Africa.

Where did the name dog originate from?

Most linguists search the origin for the word “dog” in the Old Germanic language, which has spawned many modern English words. But still – in Germany the general term for dog is “hund”, and “hound” is a cognate of this word. One needs to look deeper to find where “dog” comes from.

Where did the pitbull dog originate from?

USA Vereinigtes Königreich

Where did the black dog originated?

The Black Dog is a restaurant and tavern in Vineyard Haven on the island of Martha's Vineyard. The restaurant was founded in 1971, and became well known for its souvenir T-shirts, featuring its logo of the eponymous black dog.

Where did dogs originate from?

The earliest known dog-like fossils come from Europe. But DNA studies have implicated east Asia and the Middle East. Now a large DNA study is lining up with the fossils, suggesting dogs originated in Europe some 19,000 to 32,000 years ago.

Where did black dog originated?

The Black Dog is a restaurant and tavern in Vineyard Haven on the island of Martha's Vineyard. The restaurant was founded in 1971, and became well known for its souvenir T-shirts, featuring its logo of the eponymous black dog.

Where did poodles originate?

Allemagne France

Where did the word hush puppies originate?

They were created by a group of Ursuline nuns who had come from France. The nuns converted cornmeal into a delicious food that they named croquettes de maise. The making of these croquettes spread rapidly through the southern states. An African cook in Atlanta is said to have given the name hushpuppy to this food.

Where did top dogs originate?

It seems that both underdog and top dog originated from dog fighting which went on in the 19th century. The losing dog ended up on the bottom, or under the winner, who was on top.

Where did slaw dogs originate?

As for the origin and spread of coleslaw as a hot dog topping in West Virginia (and beyond), wvhotdogs.com has the following theory: “Legend has it that slaw was first served as a hot dog topping at The Stopette Drive In on Route 21 near Charleston, West Virginia.

Where did lions originate?

Range. Though lions used to live in most parts of Africa, they are now found only in the south Sahara desert and in parts of southern and eastern Africa. Historically, in addition to Africa, lions were found from Greece through the Middle East to northern India.

Where did the pig originate from?

The domestic pig originates from the Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa). We have sequenced mitochondrial DNA and nuclear genes from wild and domestic pigs from Asia and Europe. Clear evidence was obtained for domestication to have occurred independently from wild boar subspecies in Europe and Asia.

Where did dog sledding originate?

The practice of using dogs to pull sleds dates back to at least 2000 BC. It originated in Siberia or North America, where many American Indian cultures used dogs to pull loads.

Where did hair buns originate?

It's not only done for convenience, nor is that how it originated. The ballet has been around since the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, but hair buns can be traced back to Ancient Greece. They were called the "Greek knot," a low bun at the nape of the neck typically adorned with jewelry.

Where does saying raining cats and dogs come from?

Another theory is that in old England, they had hay roofs on their houses and the cats and dogs would sleep on the roof. When it rained, the roofs got slippery and the cats and dogs would slide off of the roofs. There for it was "Raining Cats and Dogs". "Rain Cats and Dogs" stems from the Norse Mythology.

Where did werewolves originate from?

The word werewolf continues a late Old English wer(e)wulf, a compound of were "man" and wulf "wolf". The only Old High German testimony is in the form of a given name, Weriuuolf, although an early Middle High German werwolf is found in Burchard of Worms and Berthold of Regensburg.

Where did pitbulls originate from?

États-Unis Royaume-Uni

Where did Puppy Chow originate?

Chex cereal first arrived on the market in 1937, made by the Ralston Purina Company of St. Louis, Missouri. Yup, that Purina. The company had adopted the name “chow” for its animal feeds after hearing World War I soldiers call their rations that.

Where did dogs come from originally?

The earliest known dog-like fossils come from Europe. But DNA studies have implicated east Asia and the Middle East. Now a large DNA study is lining up with the fossils, suggesting dogs originated in Europe some 19,000 to 32,000 years ago. A wagging tail has long been seen as a sign of a happy and contented dog.

Where did cats and dogs come from?

Domestic cats evolved from wild cats in Mesopotamia and northeast Africa. They hung around granaries and caught mice, which endeared them to the people who were storing the grain. No one is very sure when they were domesticated, but a human burial in Greece dated from 9000 BC included a cat.

Where did dog strangling vine originated?

It is a perennial herb native to southern Europe and is a highly invasive plant growing in all of the Eastern United States, in the mid west, and southern Ontario and Quebec in Canada. It has several common names including swallowwort, pale swallowwort, and dog-strangling vine.

Where did dogs originally come from?

The earliest known dog-like fossils come from Europe. But DNA studies have implicated east Asia and the Middle East. Now a large DNA study is lining up with the fossils, suggesting dogs originated in Europe some 19,000 to 32,000 years ago.

Where did Lazy Dog restaurant originate?

The company was founded in 2003 by Chris Simms, Gabe Caliendo, Steve Price, and Roshan Mendis, with the group opening the first Lazy Dog restaurant in Huntington Beach, California. As of December 19, 2018, Lazy Dog operates 30 restaurants across five states: California, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, and Illinois.

Where did the phrase when pigs fly originated?

The terms when pigs fly and pigs might fly have their roots in an expression found in John Withal's A Shorte Dictionarie for Yonge Begynners, which was a Latin-English dictionary published in 1616: “Pigs fly in the ayre with their tayles forward.”

Where did curse words originate from?

English. In English, swear words and curse words tend to have Germanic, rather than Latin etymology "Shit" has a Germanic root, as, likely, does "fuck". The more technical alternatives are often Latin in origin, such as "defecate" or "excrete" and "fornicate" or "copulate" respectively.

Where did standard poodles originate from?

Most historians agree that the Poodle originated in Germany, but developed into his own distinct breed in France. Many believe that the breed is the result of crosses between several European water dogs, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Hungarian, and Russian water dogs.

Where did dogwood trees originate from?

Cornus florida, the flowering dogwood, is a species of flowering plant in the family Cornaceae native to eastern North America and northern Mexico.

Where did pygmy goats originated from?

The pygmy goat was developed from the West African dwarf goat, a landrace of Central and West Africa, found most commonly in the Cameroon Valley. They were taken to Europe primarily by the British during the colonial era.

Where did the saying right as rain come from?

The allusion in this simile is unclear, but it originated in Britain, where rainy weather is a normal fact of life, and indeed W.L. Phelps wrote, “The expression 'right as rain' must have been invented by an Englishman.” It was first recorded in 1894.

Was raining cats and dogs?

Therefore, “raining cats and dogs” may refer to a storm with wind (dogs) and heavy rain (cats). “Cats and dogs” may come from the Greek expression cata doxa, which means “contrary to experience or belief.” If it is raining cats and dogs, it is raining unusually or unbelievably hard.

Where did wolves originally come from?

Grey wolves (Canis lupus) most likely originated in Asia. It probably took up residence in North America some 700,000 years ago, after having crossed the Pleistocene land bridge which connected the two continents at that time.

Where did syphilis come from originally?

He believes syphilis originated in the New World, perhaps as a result of a mutation in the bacterium that causes yaws. Rothschild believes that Columbus and his crew contracted syphilis and caused a documented outbreak in Europe on their return.

Where did man's best friend originate?

But the first recorded instance of the phrase “man's best friend” came from King Frederick of Prussia who in 1789 was quoted as saying “dog is man's best friend,” apparently in reference to his beloved Italian Greyhound.

Where did cows originally come from?

About 10,000 years ago, ancient people domesticated cows from wild aurochs (bovines that are 1.5 to two times as big as domestic cattle) in two separate events, one in the Indian subcontinent and one in Europe.

Where did rain check come from?

This term comes from baseball, where in the 1880s it became the practice to offer paying spectators a rain check entitling them to future admission for a game that was postponed or ended early owing to bad weather.

Where does the Orient Express begin and end?

The Orient Express has always run from Paris Gare de l'Est via Munich, Vienna & Budapest, whereas the Simplon Orient Express started running in April 1919, taking a Southerly route from Calais and Paris Gare de Lyon to Milan, Venice, Trieste, Zagreb, Belgrade, Sofia and Istanbul, with a portion for Athens.

What is the meaning of raining cats and dogs?

Therefore, “raining cats and dogs” may refer to a storm with wind (dogs) and heavy rain (cats). “Cats and dogs” may come from the Greek expression cata doxa, which means “contrary to experience or belief.” If it is raining cats and dogs, it is raining unusually or unbelievably hard.

What is the origin and meaning of take a rain check?

Origin. The phrase originated in the 1880s in the USA in reference to baseball games. If it rained heavily enough for a match to be postponed, the ticket holders to the match were given a “rain check”, i.e., a voucher to attend another match.

Can it really rain cats and dogs?

There have, however, been verified reports of animals falling to Earth during severe storms. So, while it doesn't really rain cats and dogs, it may actually rain fish and frogs.

Is it raining cats and dogs simile?

It's a metaphor. It's an idiomatic expression which is metaphorical. Metaphor. If you said, “It's raining like cats and dogs,” that would be a simile.

Is raining cats and dogs a metaphor?

"Raining cats and dogs" literally means that small animals are falling out of the sky. But, of course, this image of animals falling from the sky is a metaphor for very large, heavy drops of water (and possibly dark skies, since animals are opaque). The phrase is not an idiom, as the other answers misinform you.

Can it rain cats and dogs book?

This book will answer children's questions about weather as it explores the basics in beautifully illustrated sections on sun, air, and wind; rain, snow, and hail; and wild weather like hurricanes and tornadoes. Can It Rain Cats And Dogs? GenreNonfictionFormatPaperback BookPages481 autre ligne

Is raining cats and dogs an idiom?

Therefore, “raining cats and dogs” may refer to a storm with wind (dogs) and heavy rain (cats). “Cats and dogs” may come from the Greek expression cata doxa, which means “contrary to experience or belief.” If it is raining cats and dogs, it is raining unusually or unbelievably hard.

Who said it's raining cats and dogs?

The most common one says that in olden times, homes had thatched roofs in which domestic animals such as cats and dogs would like to hide. In heavy rain, the animals would either be washed out of the thatch, or rapidly abandon it for better shelter, so it would seem to be raining cats and dogs.

Is raining cats and dogs a hyperbole?

"It's raining cats and dogs," for instance, means it is raining extensively, but not that dogs and felines are falling from the sky. The idiom "He kicked the bucket" means that someone has died, but a non-native speaker would picture a man literally kicking a bucket down a road.

What does raining cats and dogs mean?

Therefore, “raining cats and dogs” may refer to a storm with wind (dogs) and heavy rain (cats). “Cats and dogs” may come from the Greek expression cata doxa, which means “contrary to experience or belief.” If it is raining cats and dogs, it is raining unusually or unbelievably hard.

Why is called raining cats and dogs?

Odin, the Norse god of storms, was often pictured with dogs and wolves, which were symbols of wind. So, to say it's raining “cats and dogs” might be to say it's raining waterfalls. A false theory stated that cats and dogs used to cuddle into thatch roofs during storms and then be washed out during heavy rains.

Where did the first cat come from?

Domesticated cats all come from wildcats called Felis silvestris lybica that originated in the Fertile Crescent in the Near East Neolithic period and in ancient Egypt in the Classical period.

How did dogs originate?

Now a large DNA study is lining up with the fossils, suggesting dogs originated in Europe some 19,000 to 32,000 years ago. Scientists generally agree that dogs emerged from wolves to become the first domesticated animal.

How did the word pet originate?

1 Answer. Etymonline to the rescue: "tamed animal," originally in Scottish and northern England dialect (and exclusively so until mid-18c.), of unknown origin. Sense of "indulged child" (c.1500) is recorded slightly earlier than that of "animal kept as a favorite" (1530s), but the latter may be the primary meaning.

How did Chihuahuas originate?

The Chihuahua's history is convoluted, and many theories surround the origin of the breed. Both folklore and archaeological finds show that the breed has origins in Mexico. The most common theory is that Chihuahua are descended from the Techichi, a companion dog favored by the Toltec civilization in Mexico.

Where does the Orient Express Travel?

The Orient Express has always run from Paris Gare de l'Est via Munich, Vienna & Budapest, whereas the Simplon Orient Express started running in April 1919, taking a Southerly route from Calais and Paris Gare de Lyon to Milan, Venice, Trieste, Zagreb, Belgrade, Sofia and Istanbul, with a portion for Athens.

Where is the original World Cup trophy?

The name of every team to win it since 1974 is engraved on the base. No, the skipper lifts it, but the team keep what's called the World Cup winners' trophy. The original trophy is on display at the FIFA world football museum in Switzerland.

Where was the original Pet Sematary filmed?

Pet Sematary had its most central scenes filmed in the towns of Hancock and Bangor in King's home state of Maine. The red-roofed, yellow-sided house where most of the film takes place is located at 303 Point Road in Hancock and still looks the same.

Where does the poodle originate from?

Frankreich Deutschland

Where does the expression gone to the dogs come from?

The origin of this expression is believed to be in ancient China where dogs, by tradition, were not permitted within the walls of cities. Consequently, stray dogs roamed the areas outside the city walls and lived off the rubbish thrown out of the city by its inhabitants.

How did dog breeds originate?

Dogs were just a loose category of wolves until around 15,000 years ago, when our ancestors tamed and began to manage them. We fed them, bred them, and spread them from continent to continent. While other wolf descendants died out, dogs grew into a new species. We invented the dog.

How did dog tags originate?

Among the first instances of the identification tags being called "dog tags" comes from the Prussian Army in 1870. It comes from the term "hundemarken" which was similar to what each dog in the then Prussian capital of Berlin required. The American adaptation of the name dates to just before WWII.

Is raining cats and dogs an idiom or hyperbole?

"It's raining cats and dogs," for instance, means it is raining extensively, but not that dogs and felines are falling from the sky. The idiom "He kicked the bucket" means that someone has died, but a non-native speaker would picture a man literally kicking a bucket down a road.

What is it called when its raining cats and dogs?

Therefore, “raining cats and dogs” may refer to a storm with wind (dogs) and heavy rain (cats). “Cats and dogs” may come from the Greek expression cata doxa, which means “contrary to experience or belief.” If it is raining cats and dogs, it is raining unusually or unbelievably hard.

What type of figurative language is raining cats and dogs?

Examples TypeFigurativelyLiterallyIdiomIt's raining cats and dogs!It's raining very heavily!

Where did cats evolve from?

Felids (which include lions, tigers, cougars, and yes, domestic cats) are all evolved from a common ancestor less than fifteen million years ago. Domestic cats are thought to have evolved from Near Eastern wildcats, probably the African wildcat Felis silvestris lybica.

Where is the feral pig originally from?

Wild pigs (also known as wild hogs, wild boar, or feral swine) are an Old World species and are not native to the Americas. The first wild pigs in the United States originated solely from domestic stock brought to North America by early European explorers and settlers.

Where did cat cafes start?

The world's first cat café, named "Cat Flower Garden", opened in Taipei in 1998, where there is also a luxurious "Cathy Hotel" especially for cats. The Taiwanese cat café concept next spread to Japan, and later to most other countries around the world.

What would happen if it rained cats and dogs?

No. Dogs are useless and cats don't influence storms, honest. Others said that in old times cats and dogs would hide in thatched roofs of houses and get washed out in heavy rains so it would look like it was raining cats and dogs. We know it is going to rain well before most of you humans so that can't be true.

How did miniature dogs originate?

Origin of Small Dogs Pinned Down. The ancestor of all those Chihuahuas, spaniels and tiny terriers likely came from the Middle East, a new study finds. They found that the wolves didn't posses this variant of the IGF1 gene, which shows that this mutation for small body size arose after dogs were first domesticated .

Where did the phrase when it rains it pours come from?

One of the interesting things I found was that, while “when it rains, it pours” commonly has a negative connotation, the original, high-profile use that popularized the saying was designed to be positive. It dates back to 1911, when the Morton Salt Company developed a new breakthrough in table salt technology.

Why do we say it is raining cats and dogs?

The most common one says that in olden times, homes had thatched roofs in which domestic animals such as cats and dogs would like to hide. In heavy rain, the animals would either be washed out of the thatch, or rapidly abandon it for better shelter, so it would seem to be raining cats and dogs.

What is raining cats and dogs an example of?

It's Raining Cats and Dogs means: A heavy downpour, rain coming down very quickly and hard. Example of use: “There's no way they'll be playing at the park, it's raining cats and dogs out there!”

What figurative language is raining cats and dogs?

Examples TypeFigurativelyLiterallyIdiomIt's raining cats and dogs!It's raining very heavily!

What is its raining cats and dogs an example of?

It's Raining Cats and Dogs means: A heavy downpour, rain coming down very quickly and hard. Example of use: “There's no way they'll be playing at the park, it's raining cats and dogs out there!”

What literary device is it raining cats and dogs?

An idiom is a set of words (usually two or three) or a phrase that has an in-depth meaning, and thus, whose meaning must not be taken literally. Idioms usually have a history of why they came to mean what they did. The expression here that is it's raining cats and dogs means that it is raining heavily.

What would happen if it really rained cats and dogs?

There have, however, been verified reports of animals falling to Earth during severe storms. So, while it doesn't really rain cats and dogs, it may actually rain fish and frogs.

Who came up with raining cats and dogs?

The most common one says that in olden times, homes had thatched roofs in which domestic animals such as cats and dogs would like to hide. In heavy rain, the animals would either be washed out of the thatch, or rapidly abandon it for better shelter, so it would seem to be raining cats and dogs.

Did cats and dogs evolve from the same animal?

Wikipedia. Because of the shared ancestors, both species are essentially the same “age” in evolution. We domesticated the wolf before the cat, so, humans have interacted with Canines for longer than cats. There is archeological evidence that the dog was the first animal which was domesticated by a human.

What literary device is raining cats and dogs?

An idiom is a set of words (usually two or three) or a phrase that has an in-depth meaning, and thus, whose meaning must not be taken literally. Idioms usually have a history of why they came to mean what they did. The expression here that is it's raining cats and dogs means that it is raining heavily.

Did cats and dogs evolved from the same animal?

The answer is no. Both cats and dogs, as well as all carnivorous animals, have a common ancestor. The cat (feliforms) and dog (caniforms) groups were also said to have evolved from an early ancestor called Miacis, about 42 million years ago during the Middle Eocene period.

Is it possible to rain cats and dogs?

There have, however, been verified reports of animals falling to Earth during severe storms. So, while it doesn't really rain cats and dogs, it may actually rain fish and frogs.

Is raining cats and dogs a metaphor or idiom?

"Raining cats and dogs" literally means that small animals are falling out of the sky. But, of course, this image of animals falling from the sky is a metaphor for very large, heavy drops of water (and possibly dark skies, since animals are opaque). The phrase is not an idiom, as the other answers misinform you.

What is an example of raining cats and dogs?

It's Raining Cats and Dogs means: A heavy downpour, rain coming down very quickly and hard. Example of use: “There's no way they'll be playing at the park, it's raining cats and dogs out there!”

Why do we say it's raining cats and dogs?

Odin, the Norse god of storms, was often pictured with dogs and wolves, which were symbols of wind. So, to say it's raining “cats and dogs” might be to say it's raining waterfalls. A false theory stated that cats and dogs used to cuddle into thatch roofs during storms and then be washed out during heavy rains.

Where did cat out of the bag come from?

The first origin story claims the phrase refers to the cat o' nine tails, infamously used by the Royal Navy as an instrument of punishment aboard its ships. The whip's nine knotted cords could scratch an undisciplined sailor's back badly, hence its feline nickname.

What is the historical origin and domestication of the dog?

The finding, to be published in Nature Communications, suggests a single domestication event of modern dogs from a population of gray wolves that occurred between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago. Dogs were the first animal to be domesticated by humans.

Where did the phrase cat got your tongue come from?

Cat got your tongue? Origin: The English Navy used to use a whip called “Cat-o'-nine-tails” for flogging. The pain was so severe that it caused the victim to stay quiet for a long time. Another possible source could be from ancient Egypt, where liars' and blasphemers' tongues were cut out and fed to the cats.

Where did the saying swing a dead cat come from?

Very little space, cramped quarters, as in There's not enough room to swing a cat in this tent. This expression, first recorded in 1771, is thought to allude to the cat-o'-nine-tails, or “cat,” a whip with nine lashes widely used to punish offenders in the British military.