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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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A derogatory,racist name for a police van. Used mainly in the U.S. When the Irish arrived they were feared by the Protestant and Presbyterian (mainly English and Scottish settlers) they were beaten and bullied and when they protested they were dragged off in police vans and beaten some more. Lots of silly people think that "Paddy Wagon" is acceptabe to Irish people. Well it's not...nor is Patties or Paddys Day. St. Patricks Day ...Please.
Irish-American friendship float in this years St.Patricks Day parade had "Paddy Wagon" in big letters on the sides of it. Grrrrrr!! Lots of my friends were very annoyed.
by dermo2 March 20, 2008
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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
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