Green’s Dictionary of Slang

stone jug n.1

also stone pitcher
[jug n.1 (2a); note synon. US Navy 1900s stone frigate]

1. (also stone john, stone kitchen) a generic term for any prison.

Jonson Gypsies Metamorphos’d in Ribton-Turner (1887) n.p.: Preserv’d in picture upon the most Stone Jugs of the kingdome.
see sense 2.
[US]A.B. Lindsley Yankee Notions 44: They are towing him to the stone jug.
[UK]Vidocq Memoirs (trans. W. McGinn) II 8: I have promised to blow the gang, and ensure them a lodging in the stone jug.
[UK]G. Templeton Strong Diary I 118: Poor Mr. Derby gave a moving description of the uncomfortableness of the various stone jugs, to one of which he was to be confined.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 20 Nov. 2/2: The culprit was finally sent to another kind of stone jug to await her trial.
[Aus]G.C. Mundy Our Antipodes I 136: A ‘stone-jug’ well calculated to contain the most ardent and effervescent spirits.
[US]Broadway Belle (NY) 17 Sept. n.p.: [of The Tombs, NYC] ‘Life in the Stone Jug’.
[UK]C. Reade It Is Never Too Late to Mend III 284: Now go home and don’t be a sneak and a fool [...] or I will sell the bed from under your wife’s back and send you to the stone-jug.
[UK]M.E. Braddon Trail of the Serpent 28: A great gaunt jail – the stoniest of stone jugs.
[UK]G.A. Sala Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous 237: I am sure it was Ketch, for he came afterwards to the Stone Kitchen, wanting to treat all present to Drink.
[US]J. O’Connor Wanderings of a Vagabond 410: I’ll make the town a d—n sight too hot to hold Jake Bowles outside the stone-jug.
[US]Cairo Bull. (Cairo, IL) 5 Nov. 2/3: [from The Graphic, London] Lame Jake, the fidlam-ben, / For shoving spuds, my dears, / Went up the old stone pitcher road.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 1 May 2/3: The Commissioner [...] gave him three months in the ‘stone jug’.
[UK]A. Griffiths Fast and Loose III 158: ‘And where is Leon then?’ ‘Back in the stone jug, I expect.’.
[UK]Burnley Express 25 June 3/4: Andrews [...] described to our representative his impression of ‘the stone jug.’ He complained of being put on the treadmill.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 6 May. 3/8: Some warders have been in the habit of regularly communicating with prisoners’ friends outside the gaol, and bringing back ‘stiffs’ or letters to the man in the ‘Stone Jug’ [i.e Darlinghurst Prison].
[UK]Manchester Courier 22 June 3/2: You know the origin of the word ‘stone jug’ for a prison [...] In Scotland when rogues and vagabonds wre confined in a stone prison they called it the ‘stone joug’.
[Aus]G. Seagram Bushman All 268: These granite walls are more to my taste; this is the stone-jug for me.
[Aus]Age (Queanbeyan, NSW) 12 Jan. 2/6: A bloke has a right to get took to a proper stone jug and not a rotten old wooden kennel.
[NZ]N.Z. Truth 4 July 4/3: [headline] Liddle Lagged. three Months’ Cold Stone Jug.
[UK]Eve, Teleg. (Angus, Scot.) 5 Jan. 4/4: It may even save him from a long term in what he pleasantly calls the ‘stone jug’.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 133: Jugged: Arrested. In the cells. ‘The Stone Jug’ is old thieves’ slang for a prison.
[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 184: [...] stone jug.–An elaboration of ‘jug,’ [...] not so often used.
[US] ‘Experience’ in Lingenfelter et al. Songs of the Amer. West (1968) 324: So be warned by my lot, which I know you will not, / An’ learn about stone johns from me.
[UK]Western Dly Press 2 Aug. 3/6: A prisoner charged at North London Police Court [...] told the officer who arrested him that he had had enough of ‘the stone jug’.
[[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 227: stone jug A police barracks in England].
[SA]H. Levin Bandiet 106: Then there is Central Prison, Pretoria, the maximum security jail for white criminals. [...] Cold Stone Jug is what Herman Bosman called it.

2. Newgate prison, the main criminal prison in London.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Stone Jugg. Newgate. Cant.
[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795).
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn) n.p.: Stone Jug. Newgate, or any other prison.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 258: Newgate in London is called by various names, as the pitcher, the stone pitcher, the start, and the stone jug, according to the humour of the speaker.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK] ‘The Bastard’s Christening’ in Comic Songster and Gentleman’s Private Cabinet 12: There vos leery Joe, the flue faker, / Who’d just left the Stone Pitcher.
[UK]D. Jerrold Men of Character I 251: Never in the Stone Jug? [...] I mean Newgate, and you know it.
[UK]J. Lindridge Sixteen-String Jack 108: I meant Newgate, for once in the stone jug, it’s mighty good care they take not to part with you there.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open 126: Stone pitcher, Newgate.
[UK] in Punch ‘Dear Bill, This Stone-Jug’ 31 Jan. n.p.: Dear Bill, this stone-jug at which flats dare to rail, / [...] / Is still the same snug, free-and-easy old hole.
[UK]C. Whibley ‘Jack Sheppard’ A Book of Scoundrels 125: The Stone-Jug was all be-chipped and shattered. From the castle he had forced his way through a nine-foot wall.
[UK]Marvel XIV:359 Sept. 10: Incarcerated in ‘The Old Stone Jug,’ or Newgate Gaol.

3. (US Und.) Sing Sing prison, New York.

[US]Matsell Vocabulum 86: stone pitcher Sing Sing.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 227: stone jug [...] Sing Sing Penitentiary, New York.

4. (UK prison) HMP Portland, Isle of Wight.

[UK]D. Stewart Shadows of the Night in Illus. Police News 22 June 12/1: ‘I shouldn’t have thought he’d ha’ been such a wooden-headed chump as to try and escape from the Stone Jug at Portland’.