One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1archaic A brothel.
brothel, house of ill repute, house of prostitutionView synonyms
- ‘He planted a chestnut tree at George Washington's grave, and on one occasion, according to rumor, eluded his guardians ‘and indulged his abounding manhood in the bagnios of New York.’’
- ‘At Storytown's peak, over 2000 prostitutes, in various bagnios, were selling Love in hourly increments.’
- ‘On that boulevard of the bagnios, she bought a small parlour house from Mattie Silks and began recruiting the most seductive brides of the multitudes.’
- ‘For this vile end the bagnios and lodging-houses are near at hand.’
- ‘The most notorious madam of the era was one Elizabeth Hayward who ran bagnios with a rare wit.’
2historical (in East Asia) a prison.
- ‘All these are Government slaves, and are carried off at once to one of the three great government prisons or bagnios.’
- ‘Garcés examines the five years he spent in the Algerian bagnios and the impact of his imprisonment on his works.’
- ‘If found guilty of corruption or peculation, they are imprisoned for three years in a bagnio.’
- ‘The five years he spent in the Algerian bagnios or prison-houses (1575-1580) made an indelible impression on his works.’
- ‘The bagnios were clearly gender segregated and complete nakedness strictly prohibited.’
- ‘Many other messages were exchanged between Zoraida and the captive until enough money was collected to furnish a ship and ransom other bagnio captives besides himself.’
- ‘In France special prison bagnios were constructed in the eighteenth century at Toulon, Brest, Rochefort, and Lorient.’
Late 16th century (in bagnio (sense 2)): from Italian bagno, from Latin balneum ‘bath’.
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