Hoosegow vs. Garbage Scow

I don’t know why these two words got lodged into my gray matter this morning but, etymologically, they’re as different as night and day:


Pronunciation: ‘hüs-“gau
Function: noun
Etymology: Spanish juzgado panel of judges, courtroom, from past participle of juzgar to judge, from Latin judicare

garbage scow:

Pronunciation: ‘skau
Function: noun
Etymology: Dutch schouw; akin to Old High German scalta punt pole
: a large flat-bottomed boat with broad square ends used chiefly for transporting bulk material (as ore, sand, or refuse)

I still think there’s a connection.

Didn’t Escape from New York feature some kind of floating “hoose scow” – a floating prison for human refuse?

The world may never know.

2 thoughts on “Hoosegow vs. Garbage Scow

  1. They used to use the word “hoosegow” a lot in old gangster films to refer to jail. My dad still says it now and then. As for garbage scow, they still use those in NYC, right? Maybe there is a connection, but I don’t see it yet. And sadly, I don’t remember a floating jail in Escape from New York. You may be thinking of Escape from LA, most of which I’ve managed to block out of my memory…

  2. Random brain connection, Bill.

    They come from different languages at different times, but somehow I saw some kind of similarity or made a match.

    If nothing else, I find the prospect of floating garbage prisons amusing, if torturous.

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