[Ads-l] "paddy wagon" antedated

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Thu Apr 9 10:20:19 UTC 2015

Though "paddy wagon" came to be associated with police vehicles, some early uses associate it with wheelbarrows. OED (via Sam Clements) has 1909 for "paddy wagon."
Two newspapers via
involve election bets where the loser must ride in a wheelbarrow.
1908, May 29. St. John's Review [Ont.]
"There is a Paddy-wagon ride coming in any event."
1896, Nov 8. Houston Daily Post
"Sioux in a Paddy Wagon" [headline]
1868, Nov. 5 Milwaukee Daily Sentinel [19th. c. news.] "Wheelbarrow...one little thought its symmetrical proportions deserved the vulgar epithet of "paddy wagon" of a by-standing Democrat of the old school."
Three more from Milwaukee Daily Sentinel: December 6, 1869  [Two men, recent arrivals, charged with drunkenness] "having just come across the Herring-pond in a Dutch shallop on wheels [sic]. The assertion the the boat was a paddy-wagon, and its occupants Fenianers, is groundless, [disproved by their names]
June 29, 1872  "... borrowed a wheelbarrow....accordingly wheeled to town and barrowed into the station [and] ...court room.His little scheme to become possessed of a "paddy wagon" of the first order led to an expense of $15 and costs."
July 12, 1876 "William Brotherhood mourns the loss of a one-wheeled carriage of the pattern known as a "paddy-wagon." The bow wheeler was stolen...."

Gleanings in Bee Culture 1903, Dec. 1 v. 31, page 1021 [Google Books] "Try the experiment some time with a small paddy wheelbarrow, with a small wheel, and then with a modern wheelbarrow with a large wheel."

Stephen Goranson


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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