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Cat out of the bag

Posted by Lewis on October 03, 2005

I was watching "Antiques Roadshow" and their S&M expert was looking at a cat-o'-nine-tails and mentioned that the item was responsible for a number of English phrases including 'letting the cat out of the bag' and 'room to swing a cat'.

Do TV experts peddle folk-etymology or are they bastions of truth?

L