Posted by ESC on August 23, 2002

In Reply to: Cribhouse posted by Woodchuck on August 23, 2002

: "The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse w h o r e. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary." - James D. Nicoll

: It's a great quote, but what precisely is a cribhouse? Crib could refer to a bed, or it could refer to cheating. Does it mean a "ranch" or is this a term from the era of house detectives and illicit "no-tell motels"?

I am away from my library. It seems to me that a "crib" originally was a stall-like facility, located right off the street, used by prostitutes. Maybe in New Orleans? Later "crib" came to mean one's apartment or other living quarters. As the dictionaries say, usually considered vulgar.