Definition of paddy wagon in English:

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paddy wagon

Pronunciation: /ˈpadē ˈwaɡən/


North American informal
A police van.
Example sentences
  • The protesters refused, and a few minutes later the police arrived with a paddy wagon.
  • Demonstrators attempted to prevent the arrest by blocking access to a police paddy wagon which had showed up to carry the mime away.
  • All this time, the person is locked in the paddy wagon with the police standing around outside, talking to the medical staff.


1930s: paddy from Paddy, perhaps because formerly many American police officers were of Irish descent.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pad·dy wag·on

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