One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The (former) district of Pickt-hatch in London, considered as a haunt of prostitutes. Hence allusively: any place frequented by prostitutes and their clients; a brothel or stew. Also attributive: of or relating to Pickt-hatch; meretricious, bawdy.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in John Marston (bap. 1576, d. 1634), poet and playwright. From Pickt-hatch, the former name of a district of London.
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