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Posted by Mark Lyons on June 25, 2001 at 01:33:15:

Hi. I would like to know if any of you can give me any information about the origin of the word "jail". I do know that it was derived from "Gaol" but I would like some information such as where Gaol is located and if there still a jail there. Dates of its opening and closing would be helpful. Why is a jail also called "the clink"? Is it named after the prison in London or is it because of the door lock sound when locked? I know that "up the river" pertained to Rikers Island , but how did "the slammer" make its way into our vocabulary? My guess is the slamming door, but I want to know if there are any other reasons.
Does anyone know why "Darby's" are called that? Any information that can be given on these questions will be greatly appreciated. Word origins on any other restraints or jail terminology shall also be a benefit. I am preparing a nice display of cuffs and jail items for the San Diego Sheriff Museum and Educational Center. We hope to open in August. If any of you are in San Diego, let me know and I will give you a personal tour. Thank you for any help. Mark

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