E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
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.