O.Henry (A Retrieved reformation): stir

fatbaby

Senior Member
China Chinese
Morning,Friends,
I am reading A RETRIEVED REFORMATION by O Henry.Some words & expression puzzle me,one of them is:
When a man with as many friends on the outside as Jimmy Valentine has is received in the "stir",it is hardly worth while to cut his hair.
Q1.What does the "stir" here mean?
My guess: the jail?
Q2.This above sentence seems have no business with the preceding new pardon and unexpected four-yrs sentence.How to understand them?
Thanks!
 
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    A little more context would help, but to answer your main question, "stir" is a slang word for jail, along with "pokey", "hoosegow", "slammer", "clink", and others. Like "drunk", jail has dozens of nicknames.

    The impression I get from the sentence is that he will be in and out of jail so quickly that it's hardly worth getting his hair cut there. He'll be out before he needs a new haircut.

    [edit] Here's a link to an online thesaurus with some of the many synonyms for jail:

    http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/jail
     

    fatbaby

    Senior Member
    China Chinese
    Thanks, James.What you said enlighten me .It makes senses now.Jimmy was in and out jail many times, and never longer than three months possibly because his so many friends outside help bail him out.
     
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