Cesspool



a cistern, well, or pit for retaining the sediment of a drain or for receiving the sewage from a house.
any filthy receptacle or place.
any place of moral filth or immorality:
a cesspool of iniquity.
noun
Also called sink, sump. a covered cistern, etc, for collecting and storing sewage or waste water
a filthy or corrupt place: a cesspool of iniquity
n.

also cess-pool, 1670s, the first element perhaps an alteration of cistern, perhaps a shortened form of recess [Klein]; or the whole may be an alteration of suspiral (c.1400), “drainpipe,” from Old French sospiral “a vent, air hole,” from sospirer “breathe,” from Latin suspirare “breathe deep” [Barnhart]. Meaning extended to “tank at the end of the pipe,” which would account for a possible folk-etymology change in final syllable.

Other possible etymologies: Italian cesso “privy,” from Latin secessus “place of retirement” (in Late Latin “privy, drain”); dialectal suspool, from suss, soss “puddle;” or cess “a bog on the banks of a tidal river.”

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