Happy Very Belated St. Patrick’s Day: Hopefully You Did Not Celebrate It in a Paddy Wagon

Paddywagon, 1909

Paddywagon, 1909 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Note: Its been a while. This post, along with several others, was supposed to get done earlier. But, I live by the mantra “Procrastinators Unite… Tomorrow.” There are t-shirts available here.

Anyways, a question hit me while I was in Boston for St. Patricks Day; what is the etymology of the term Paddy Wagon. Did it have anything to do with “Paddy”? The answer to that question is most likely yes. Thus, next time you see a police van: 1) be happy that you are not in it and 2) be happy that you are not an Irishman living in America in the early 1930s.

Under both theories regarding the origin of the term Paddy Wagon, the realities are harsh. The first theory is based on the fact that early in the early 1900s Irishmen made up a sizable amount of many police forces. I am pretty sure this still rings true today. However, can you imagine how complex it would be to be a police officer during the Great Depression?  The second theory relies on conjecture; there was a lot of crime among Irish immigrants.

Hope you have an even better St. Patrick’s Day next year with a Guinness and a hotel within walking distance. Hopefully, my post celebrating it will be earlier.

Side Note: I also noticed that wordpress does not automatically capitalize “i”—> annoying.


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