After using the word in an answer to a question here, I got to wondering about the etymology of the word hoosegow. I picked it up from my father (perhaps surprisingly, given that he was an german immigrant) but that didn't tell me much about where the word came from.
A search of etymonline.com turned up this explanation:
"jail," 1911, western U.S., probably from mispronunciation of Mexican Spanish juzgao "tribunal, court," from juzgar "to judge," used as a noun, from Latin judicare "to judge," which is related to judicem (see judge (n.)).
Oxford agrees, saying:
Early 20th century: via Latin American Spanish from Spanish juzgado ‘tribunal’, from Latin judicatum ‘something judged’, neuter past participle of judicare.
I got curious about the 1911 date specified by etymonline and turned to Google's ngrams. Their results seemed to match and I started looking at the early uses, including:
Aprons of Silence
I fixed up a padded cell and lugged it around.
I locked myself in and nobody knew it.
Only the keeper and the kept in the hoosegow
Knew it — on the streets, in the postoffice,
Dialect Notes – Volume 5 – Page 113
WORDS IMPORTED FROM OTHER STATES OR OTHER COUNTRIES.
hoosegaw, or hoosegow, n. (hods gaw).
A jail, or a prison. Slang.
'They chucked him in the hoosegow.'
Sp. juzgado > husgado > husgao > hoosegaw. Spanish American, then army usage, then general. Reported common also in middle western states.
But then I found this one from 1922:
Everybody's Magazine – Volume 46 – Page 44
By Sampson Raphaelson
"That's the old hoosegow — a notorious place about five years ago. All sorts of booze parties."
"Let's stop there, Chuck, and sit on the soda water stand and read poetry."
It seems to me that the usage here is implying a saloon or similar establishment, rather than a jail. Is there another meaning to hoosegow that has been lost to time? Or is this simply a one-off misuse of the word?
There are some great (amazingly detailed and researched!) answers and comments and it was hard to pick one to accept — I went with Sven's for finding the earliest usage, as well as pointing out that juzgado was used as well by English-speakers.
I think that MikeJRamsey56 and JEL have the best explanation — an abandoned jail that was taken over and used for scandalous parties thereafter.