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hoosegow or hoosgow (HOOS-gou)

noun: A jail.

[From Spanish juzgado (court), past participle of juzgar (to judge), from Latin judicare (to judge). Ultimately from Indo-European root deik- (to show or to pronounce solemnly) that is also the source of other words such as judge, verdict, vendetta, revenge, indicate, dictate, and paradigm.]

Like the word hoosegow there is another slang term for prison that came from Spanish: calaboose, from Spanish calabozo (dungeon).

"Throughout 2002 and 2003, the CIA sent Chertoff urgent questions asking whether various 'interrogation protocols' could get their agents sent to the hoosegow."
Chris Floyd; Criminal World; The St. Petersburg Times (Russia); Feb 8, 2005.

"The historic looking hoosegow features a pair of cells complete with iron locks and keys designed by Rose himself."
Timothy Mitchell; From Books to 'Book 'em'; Hamilton Ravalli Republic (Montana); Feb 1, 2005.

See more usage examples of hoosegow in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

This week's theme: Words borrowed from Spanish


To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible god. -Jorge Luis Borges, writer (1899-1986)

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