1. (also poke, poky) a prison, usu. small and local.
|Jargon Book 26: Pokey, a jail.|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 93: Lags who escape from the county pokey.‘The Bloodhounds of Broadway’ in|
|Runyon à la Carte 87: There is nothing left to be done but to clap this Mrs. Bidkar in the pokey.|
|Poor Man’s Orange 123: Dolour thought he might be a dope-pedlar, and briskly prophesied a police raid, and Mr Reilly getting hauled off to the pokey.|
|Men of the Und. 81: He was pinched on a vag charge and tossed in the pokey.|
|Monkey On My Back (1954) 239: I thought you’d be around as soon as you heard Pepe was in the poke.|
|(con. 1940s) Reprieve 183: You’d be brought to the poky and put in a line-up.|
|Groucho Letters (1967) 142: The police finally came and hauled him off to the local pokey.letter 5 July in|
|Garden of Sand (1981) 299: There were hardly ever more than one or two citizens in the local two-story brick pokey.|
|High Times Hard Times 38: Mom stormed around [...] threatening to have everyone hauled off to the pokey.|
|Aus. Prison Sl. Gloss. [Internet] Pokey. A cell or prison generally.|
|Guardian Rev. 1 Jan. 29: He was openhearted to Molly-O and Steffi [...] who are forever in the pokey for turning a five-dollar trick with the wrong guy.|
2. a turnkey, a jailer.
|Man with the Golden Arm 7: Sssss — Pokey! You got this door locked good?|
3. a prison cell.
|see sense 1.|