American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A patrol wagon.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. the close wagon in which prisoners are carried to or from jail.
- a paddy wagon.
- n. van used by police to transport prisoners
- n. a form of whist in which players avoid winning tricks containing hearts or the queen of spades
- Unknown, but first usage is from the 1830's. (Wiktionary)
- Origin unknown. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“So now it was back to the Black Maria again, with a sullen Pinkerton for company, and the other two in a carriage behind; we were borne swiftly along the waterfront to a quiet quay where a trim little sailing-cutter was waiting, manned by Navy tarpaulins, Pinkerton ushered us aboard, and in no time we were scudding out on to the crowded river, with my curiosity rising by the minute.”
“By noon a couple of Black Maria police vans were in one of the nearby alleys with a specially trained riot platoon in support.”
“Every police van and Black Maria in the city and county were up there and the whole place surrounded by policemen, inside and out.”
“They put me in a Black Maria in the alley behind Madam Celeste's bouncer repair shop (which I guessed was what the secret service call a "cave", and Madam herself in government pay) and so to a brown building overlooking the river, nothing like a police station or jail, but staffed by sober, silent civilians who conducted me to a comfortable enough chamber which was something between a parlour and a cell (carpet on the floor, bars on the window), gave me a disgusting luncheon consisting of a cake of fried chopped beef smothered in onions and train oil, and left me to my own devices for a couple of hours. 29”
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