Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Spout.

 Spouse (Spouze, 1 syl.)Sprat. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
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.   1
        “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 hand comes out, covered with a glove, takes up the article, and gives out the money for it.”—Lord Shaftesbury: The Times, March 1st, 1869.

 Spouse (Spouze, 1 syl.)Sprat. 


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