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Alternative forms[edit]


spell (play) +‎ ken (house)


  • (file)


spellken (plural spellkens)

  1. (obsolete, slang) A theatre.
    • 1823, Lord Byron, Don Juan, Canto the Eleventh, Stanza XIX:
      He from the world had cut off a great man, / Who in his time had made heroic bustle. / Who in a row like Tom could lead the van, / Booze in the ken, or at the spellken hustle? / Who queer a flat? Who (spite of Bow Street's ban) / On the high toby-spice so flash the muzzle? / Who on a lark, with black-eyed Sal (his blowing), / So prime, so swell, so nutty, and so knowing?

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for spellken in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)