CHUMMAGE. Money paid by the richer sort of prisoners
in the Fleet and King's Bench, to the poorer, for their
share of a room. When prisons are very full, which is
too often the case, particularly on the eve of an insolvent
act, two or three persons are obliged to sleep in a room. A
prisoner who can pay for being alone, chuses two poor
chums, who for a stipulated price, called chummage,
give up their share of the room, and sleep on the stairs,
or, as the term is, ruff it.
- The Devil's Dictionary (Ambrose Bierce)
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