leaping house

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Alternative forms[edit]


leaping house (plural leaping houses)

  1. (obsolete) A brothel.
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part I, act 1, sc. 2:
      Unless hours were cups of sack and minutes capons and clocks the tongues of bawds and dials the signs of leaping-houses and the blessed sun himself a fair hot wench in flame-coloured taffeta, I see no reason why thou shouldst be so superfluous to demand the time of the day.
    • 2003, M. S. Morton and M. Morton, The Lover's Tongue: A Merry Romp Through the Language of Love and Sex, Insomniac Press, →ISBN, page 221:
      In the late sixteenth century, the word nunnery also came to mean brothel. . . . Around the same time, the synonymous leaping-house also emerged, which anticipated the eighteenth-century terms vaulting-school and pushing-school, all implying vigorous acts of sex.


  • Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)