paddywaggon

Definition

Slang

  • noun a secure police van, a black maria or a police car. This term was introduced into Britain and Australia from the United States at the end of the 19th century. The reference to paddy reflects the importance of the Irish population of New york and other northern cities in providing police officers at the time, rather than to the number of Irishmen arrested. Meat wagon is a racier, more modern alternative.
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