Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
also pokey, 1828, "confined, pinched, shabby," later (1856) "slow, dull;" from varied senses of poke (v.) + -y (2). Also cf. poke (n.3). Related: Pokily; pokiness.
A jail; clink, slammer: My thoughts centered around the prospect of the ''Pokey''
[1919+; origin unknown]