Etymology
Advertisement

Words related to jail

cave (n.)

"a hollow place in the earth, a natural cavity of considerable size and extending more or less horizontally," early 13c., from Old French cave "a cave, vault, cellar" (12c.), from Latin cavea "hollow" (place), noun use of neuter plural of adjective cavus "hollow," from PIE root *keue- "to swell," also "vault, hole." Replaced Old English eorðscrafu.

Advertisement
cajole (v.)

"deceive or delude by flattery," 1640s, from French cajoler "to cajole, wheedle, coax," a word of uncertain origin; perhaps a blend of cageoler "to chatter like a jay" (16c., from gajole, southern diminutive of geai "jay;" see jay (n.)), and Old French gaioler "to cage, entice into a cage" (see jail (n.)). Related: Cajoled; cajoling.

gaol (n.)

see jail (n.), you tea-sodden football hooligan. Formerly in official use in Britain, and thus sometimes regarded in U.S. as a characteristic British spelling (though George Washington used it); by the time of OED 2nd edition (1980s) both spellings were considered correct there; the g- spelling is said to have been dominant longest in Australia.

[T]he very anomalous pronunciation of g soft before other vowels than e, i, & y ... is a strong argument for writing jail [Fowler]
jail-bait (n.)
also jailbait, "girl under the legal age of consent conceived as a sex object," 1928, from jail (n.) + bait (n.).
jail-bird (n.)
also jailbird, 1610s, based on an image of a caged bird; from jail (n.), which in its Middle English, French, and Latin ancestry also meant "cage" + bird (n.1).
jail-break (n.)
also jailbreak, "prison escape," 1828, from jail (n.) + break (n.). Verbal phrase to break jail is from 1735.
jailer (n.)
also gaoler, late 14c., from Old North French gayolierre, Old French jaioleur (Modern French geôlier), agent noun from jaole/geole (see jail (n.)). Jail-keeper is attested from 1620s.
jail-house (n.)
also jailhouse, late 15c., from jail (n.) + house (n.). Earlier was jail-hall (late 14c.).