Prison Language 101
Date:  06-09-2019

People in prison create their own unique words and phrases for a variety of reasons
From PBS News Hour:

On a now-private Facebook page, a prison guard in Texas casually joked last month about wanting to “gas” prisoners (throw urine or feces at them). Others in Georgia and Missouri posted about putting inmates in “the box” or “the hole” (slang for sending them to disciplinary confinement).

The incident, which was revealed by local journalists, led to prison officials promising disciplinary measures, up to termination, for the guards. But it also provided a rare window into the language that grows behind prisons walls, as well as the prison culture of casual violence — one reason that this vernacular exists.

Prison language, or language created by inmates while incarcerated, has a long and vivid history, and is likely as old as the modern prison itself. It can alternately can be described as prison slang (informal talk), cant (a secret language), or argot (jargon of a certain group). Continue reading >>>