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Newgate Knocker

(A). A lock of hair twisted into a curl, usually worn by costermongers and other persons of similar stations in life. So called because it resembles a knocker, and the wearers of it are too often inmates of Newgate. Newgate as a prison is abolished, but many phrases referring to the prison still remain.

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