: jail; especially : a local jail
Did You Know?
"Calaboose" had been part of the English language for almost a century when John S. Farmer included the term in his 1889 book Americanisms -- Old & New, defining it as "the common gaol or prison." Farmer also made mention of a verb "calaboose," meaning "to imprison," but that term was apparently lost in the years between then and now. "Calaboose" is Spanish in origin; it's from the Spanish word "calabozo," meaning "dungeon."
The chief entertainment at our family gatherings is always the stories my uncles tell of their wild youthful antics -- some of which landed them in the calaboose for a night.
"Dallas broke the law, according to the lawsuit, because it lied in violation of the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act can be enforced criminally (off to the calaboose) or civilly (write a big check)." -- From an article by Jim Schutze in the Dallas Observer, November 24, 2011
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