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See also: sponging house


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sponging-house (plural sponging-houses)

  1. (historical) A place of temporary confinement for debtors, kept by a bailiff, where debtors were sponged of all money they had on themselves, before being transferred to debtor's prison.
    • 1723, Charles Walker, Memoirs of Sally Salisbury, VI:
      she perswaded the Creditors to send Two Bayliffs, who carry'd me to a Spunging-House in a very weak Condition []