calaboose

calaboose

[kal-uh-boos, kal-uh-boos]
noun Slang.
jail; prison; lockup.

Origin:
1785–95, Americanism; (< North American F) < Spanish calabozo dungeon, of obscure origin

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World English Dictionary
calaboose (ˈkæləˌbuːs)
 
n
informal (US) a prison; jail
 
[C18: from Creole French, from Spanish calabozo dungeon, of unknown origin]

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Word Origin & History

calaboose
"prison," 1792, Amer.Eng., from Louisiana Fr. calabouse, from Sp. calabozo "dungeon," probably from V.L. *calafodium, from pre-Roman *cala "protected place, den" + L. fodere "to dig" (see fossil).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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