Definition of hoosegow
hoosegow was our Word of the Day on 07/07/2015. Hear the podcast!
Examples of hoosegow in a sentence
she ended up in the hoosegow for disorderly conduct
Did You Know?
In Spanish, juzgado means "panel of judges, courtroom." The word is based on the Spanish past participle of juzgar, meaning "to judge," which itself was influenced by Latin judicare-a combination of jus, "right, law," and dicere, "to decide, say." When English speakers of the American West borrowed juzgado in the early 1900s, they recorded it the way they heard it: hoosegow. They also associated the word specifically with the jail that was usually in the same building as a courthouse. Today, hoosegow has become slang for any place of confinement for lawbreakers.
Origin and Etymology of hoosegow
Spanish juzgado panel of judges, courtroom, from past participle of juzgar to judge, from Latin judicare — more at judge
First Known Use: 1909
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