Spout

Up the spout. At the pawn-broker's. In allusion to the “spout” up which brokers send the articles ticketed. When redeemed they return down the spout—i.e. from the store-room to the shop.

“As for spoons, forks, and jewellery, they are not taken so readily to the smelting-pot, but to well-known places where there is a pipe [spout] which your lordships may have seen in a pawnbroker's shop. The thief taps, the pipe is lifted up, and in the course of a minute a band comes out, covered with a glove, takes up the article, and gives out the money for it.” —Lord Shaftesbury: The Times, March 1st, 1869.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Spout from Fact Monster:

  • Analogy Quiz - (What is an analogy?) SPOUT : TEAPOT :: _____ : candle Hint wick match darkness Word Quiz Spelling ...
  • lamp - lamp lamp, originally a vessel for holding oil or some combustible substance that could be burned ...
  • whale: Characteristics and Behavior - Characteristics and Behavior Like other mammals, whales breathe air, are warm-blooded, and produce ...
  • vase - vase vase, vessel of pottery, glass, metal, stone, wood, or synthetic material. The pottery vase ...
  • sperm whale - sperm whale sperm whale, largest of the toothed whales, Physeter catodon, found in the Atlantic and ...

Related Content