belly plea
   a claim that the accused is pregnant
   A pregnant woman could not be hanged and therefore so advised the judge if she were convicted on a capital charge:
    My mother pleased her belly, and being found quick with child... (Defoe, 1721)
   To slink a (great) belly away was to have an induced abortion:
    Lady Castelmayne, who he believes hath lately slunk a great belly away... (Pepys, 1664 — at least it saved Charles II lumbering the British with another dukedom)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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