Meaning of pokey in English:



informal North American usually the pokey
  • Prison.

    ‘25 years in the pokey’
    • ‘Such is life in the big house, the joint, or the pokey.’
    • ‘Determined not to be ‘treated like a piece of bookstore trade,’ one of these drama boys almost turns a semi-innocent trip to the sauna into in a trip to the pokey for one of them.’
    • ‘It seemed a laughable charge, but the judge was upset, saying Emery was arrogant and flouting the law - which he clearly was - and gave him 92 days in the pokey.’
    • ‘No, there is no law that will send you to the pokey if you break this guideline however, this is a rule that most follow and is a recommended guideline so you don't appear too pushy.’
    • ‘Once free they did what escaped prisoners do: Swiped a pickup truck, cavorted on the outside for a while, then got hauled back into the pokey.’
    • ‘Hurry up or I'll ask the sheriff to take you guys to the pokey.’
    • ‘In Armstrong's case, his identity thief plead guilty to a laundry list of charges and is slated to spend just five years in the pokey.’
    • ‘But let a bad word creep into a school principal's vocabulary, and he'll go straight to the pokey.’
    • ‘Case dismissed, and the prosecutor gets to spend the night in the pokey for charging against the film.’
    • ‘Check your local obscenity ordinances before you do this one or you could land up in the pokey.’
    • ‘I could have ended up in the pokey for questioning.’
    • ‘And I didn't want to go to the pokey for - well, never you mind what I could go to the pokey for.’
    • ‘We don't need a new law; we need to find the executives who did this and throw them in the pokey for a long time.’
    • ‘Having worked to learn fluent French - surely passing ones time in the pokey by learning a second language and earning a BA counts as some form of rehabilitation?’
    • ‘The province of Saskatchewan has in its code of laws no recourse for punishment of non-payment of fines other than to toss the offender into the pokey.’
    • ‘No one of any significance has spent any time in the pokey.’
    • ‘We reflect on my impending visit to the pokey over a fry-up.’
    • ‘As she approaches the prospect of spending a bit of time in the federal pokey for her conviction in that insider stock-dumping scheme, she already has a plan to lighten her jail term.’
    • ‘By convention's end, about 1,800 protesters had passed through the temporary pokey at Pier 57.’
    • ‘He's resolute about going to the pokey or the grave fighting for the little people.’


Early 20th century alteration of pogey (an early sense being ‘hostel for the needy’), perhaps influenced by poky.