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Little Ease

The name of a prison cell too small to allow the prisoner to stand upright, or to lie down, or to assume any other position of ease. I have seen such a cell at St. Cyr; and according to Curiosity, or, The General Library, p. 69 (1738), cells of this kind were used “at Guildhall for unruly apprentices.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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