Black Maria

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Black Maria

a police van for transporting prisoners. The origins of the term remain uncertain. Most favoured is that it is named after a tough coloured boarding-house proprietrix, another after a racehorse of the time.
References in periodicals archive ?
The World Wide Words site on the internet says the first reference to a Black Maria vehicle in Boston was in 1847, some years after the lady''s fame.
Soon, locals were calling all police wagons Black Marias.
They had just been off-loaded from a fleet of army Black Marias.