(3 syl.). Without having had the Eucharist in the hour of
death. To housel is to administer the “sacrament” to the sick in
danger of death. Housel is the Saxon husel (the Eucharist). Lye
derives it from the Gothic hunsa (a victim).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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