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A.Word.A.Day--hoosegow

Pronunciation RealAudio

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).

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

"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.

This week's theme: Words borrowed from Spanish

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