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13.
The term 'paddy wagon' is of English origin due to it's use to pick up drunk Irish louts (paddy's) from pub brawls.

It is commonly used across all prior English colonies including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many others.

Contrary to other postings here, the term 'divvy van' is unbeknownst to any Australia on my extensive MSN list, nor have I heard it in the 47 years I've lived here, so I'd say it's someone attempting to coin a phrase.
Mel Gibson refers to a paddy wagon in a (intended) slip of the tongue (due to Australian roots) in the movie Signs, "We took some of your friends downtown already in the back of a paddy wagon."
by ath0 January 24, 2005
28 64
 
1.
I nickname given to a vehicle police use to transport prisoners. The name came from the New York Draft riots of 1863. The Irish at the time were the poorest people in the city. When the draft was implemented it had a provision for wealthier people to buy a waiver. The Irish rioted, and the term Paddy wagon was coined.
Patrick, Michael, Sean throw those damnn Irish in the Paddywagon.
by Paddy Noonan February 15, 2005
264 101
 
2.
A police wagon used for hauling criminals. Often due to the stereotype of Irish (Paddys= Pattys= Patricks) being arrested for public intoxication. Also due to the high number of Irish men employed as police officers during the late 19th and early 20th centuries
by Anonymous October 20, 2003
79 18
 
3.
a police vehicle in which criminals are taken away in(from paddy, police officer, which comes from the fact that many police officers are of Irish decent)
The thief cursed the rich old man as the paddywagon took him away.
by Light Joker October 17, 2004
27 19
 
4.
The van driven by the police, to pick up unruly teens out getting drunk in public places, after the town curfew, used to bring the teens to the police station, usually for the night.
"Shit man! The Paddy wagon! Ditch the bottles and run!"
by Ima D. Runk April 19, 2005
85 83
 
5.
means "P. D. Wagon"

modern: Van or truck used for transporting prisoners.

Origins of the phrase are not sinister. The origin is from the era of horse drawn box enclosed wagons employed by the Police Department, especially of New York City. These wagons had the sole identification painted on the sides, in large letters the initials P.D. When spoken the term "P.D. Wagon" easily becomes "paddy wagon".

While the word "paddy" may be in modern use in derogatory ways, the development of those meanings are separate and unrelated to the "P. D. Wagon".

These derogatory uses however, have led to fabricated, invented and much more complicated explanations of the phrase "paddy wagon" and while a word or phrase may develop new meanings over time, and thus become valid of themselves, that does not change the true and simple origin as a slurring of the phrase "P.D. Wagon"
At a mass demonstration, spoken by an officer of the law "We've sent for the paddy wagons people. Disperse or stay and be arrested."
by Damariscove September 11, 2011
40 46
 
6.
Irish/English word for Police Van where they load up typical gangs of drunks that are acting the eejit in public
by Cully April 01, 2003
30 53
 
7.
Paddy wagon may be used all over australia but the term "divvy van" is also used such as at cricket matchs
"your goin home in the back of a divvy van"
by W. February 08, 2004
24 50