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Is "gaol" obsolete?[edit]

if gaol obsolete english? it is still the correct spelling as far as i was concerned

Jail is an Americani[z]m

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 14:48, 14 March 2006 (UTC).

Missing etymology - Suggestion needing validation...[edit]

The etymology is not set.

I wonder if jail is derived from the french word "geôle" which is an old fashion word for... "jail", "prison".

I'd be glad if someone could verifiy this hypothesis and set the etymology part.

—This unsigned comment was added by AglarEdain (talkcontribs) at 12:07, 9 August 2008 (UTC).


Gaol is not obsolete, nor is jail an americanism; it's been around since Middle English.

Gaol seems to be verging on "archaic", occurring in UK newspapers more often in proper nouns for such places than as a common noun. "Jail" appears much more common than "gaol" in UK newspapers. DCDuring TALK 18:58, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

RfV discussion[edit]

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RFV-sense "school". (I do see some non-durable blogs comparing schools to jails.) - -sche (discuss) 19:14, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

[1] [2] [3] One for "jail", two for "prison". Choor monster (talk) 21:52, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I can only see the middle link, and it's not using the word prison with the definition "school", it's referring to school metaphorically as a prison. —Angr 22:28, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Debatably it's not even referring to the school as a prison, but the education system as a whole. This isn't relevant anyway, as the whole point of referring to the school as a prison is that it's a place for incarcerating criminals. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:01, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Here since 2007, one of two ever edits by (talk). Mglovesfun (talk) 23:04, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Regarding "metaphor": you can't use that as a negative, since secondary meanings are quite often fossilized metaphors, so ingrained that we don't normally even notice. One meaning of "school" is the building education takes place in, but another meaning is the system as a whole, or at least the part that can be "in session". And what is the relevance of the nonrelevance of prison being a place for incarcerating criminals? (I'm missing your point, obviously.) For what it's worth, a prison is also a place for incarcerating innocent people, although normally that isn't anyone's intention. I presume the metaphor is that schools and prisons are places where people are tightly confined against their will. Choor monster (talk) 12:17, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
No one has a problem with dead metaphors and mostly not with those that are on life support. (Are we missing this kind of metaphorical usage? Only RHU has the metaphorical sense, for the adjective form.) It is live metaphors and similes that are not likely to be found entry-worthy by lexicographers. In a cross-cultural dictionary, there is arguably some warrant to explaining the metaphor to someone not exposed to the underlying literal referent, so as to have difficulty understanding. I don't think that applies much to this sense of jail. DCDuring TALK 13:13, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
There's no problem; in your citation (to Choor monster) the author is comparing a school with a prison, not with a school. This school is like a school doesn't mean this school is like a school, so there shouldn't be a sense at prison for school based on metaphors alone. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:23, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it would be hard to find citations supporting the usage that a prison is a school for developing skills that can help one succeed as a criminal after release. Is either a "meaning" of the respective word? Including them will create a model for contributors to amuse themselves with by following, finding all the metaphorical usages of words with three attestations. DCDuring TALK 15:34, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
  • I found a good citation:
    1966, Robert Coover, “Part II, section 11”, in The Origin of the Brunists, first edition, page 218:
    Taking a shower at the high school, Tommy (the Kitten) Cavanaugh kids Ugly Palmers. "Ugly, if you think the world is coming to an end," he says, "what are you wasting your time here at this jail for? You gonna need American history up there?"
    Choor monster (talk) 13:58, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
I still don't see that as a citation; it calls the school a jail, but it doesn't use the word "jail" to mean "school"; it uses the word "jail" to mean "jail, prison".--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:27, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

RfV failed; sense deleted. bd2412 T 14:36, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

"put someone in jail"[edit]

What does this mean? To the Skype team back in Redmond, Nadella's timeline landed like a bombshell. "It was a complete surprise to me," says Peter Lee, a corporate vice president at Microsoft Research. "Satya really put us in jail with this Skype Translator thing." Equinox 18:44, 9 July 2016 (UTC)