A couple of listeners
asked about slang terms for a jail or jail cell. The select list below shows
the year in which the word entered English with that particular meaning. The
source is the Oxford English Dictionary.
, from the name of the prison-fortress built in Paris in the 14th
big house, in Britain , a workhouse; in America , a prison.
bridewell , from St. Bride’s Well,
a holy well in London, the site of a lodging converted to a hospital converted
to a house of correction
, from a place of detention on board a ship (the brigantine).
, named after an enclosure for cattle.
calaboose , Louisiana French Creole calabouse,
from the Spanish calabozo, dungeon.
, by analogy to the tin vessel in which food is sealed up.
originally a small room in a monastery.
, the name of a prison in Southwark, probably taken from the verb to
clink, to fasten securely.
, from the container used to cool things down.
, a deep, dark vault. The word is connected to dominion, the right to
, from the Mexican juzgado, a
, probably from the earlier meaning , a place of illegal activity.
, a shortened version of stone jug , a nickname for Newgate Prison.
, a room for the temporary detention of offenders.
, originally a small, cramped, confined room.
, from the resounding noise when a heavy prison door is slammed shut.
, origin unknown, although some sources argue in favor of a Romany word
that meant prison.
, originally a defensive barrier of stakes; later, a military prison.
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