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.
Examples of hoosegow in a Sentence
she ended up in the hoosegow for disorderly conduct
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hoosegow.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.