I hope not. However, should you find yourself in the hoosegow, refer to this list of early prison lingo. I imagine the list has grown and changed since the 1920s, but at least you won’t look appear too much like a fish . . .
Shive: knife, dirk
Coppers: credits for good behavior. Full credits shortened a 50 year term to 29 and 10 months.
Harness Bull: uniformed policemen
A Snitch: Person who tell tales to guards
Stool pigeon: a convict spy
Hole/Down Below: Dungeon
Croak: to kill
Stiff: corpse, a fellow convict
Pill: shot of dope
Bug house: insane asylum/hospital
Screw: insane inmate
Snowbird: Morphine user. Morphine was called “snow”
Gun: hypodermic needle
Jacket: strait jacket
Hooks: handcuffing a man by the wrists and hoisting him up so only his toes only touch the floor.
Jolt: a term in jail
Sleep: a one year term
Sneaks: rubber soled shoes
Blowin’ a Pete: blowing a safe
A grand: $1000 (this may seem obvious now, but it originated in the slammer)
At the Springs: in the strait jacket
Straighten the screws: treat the mentally ill