prowlie for car?

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Senior Member

Is it common to call a patrol car prowlie?

Here's from an anthology of American mystery short stories:
The only fresh tire tracks were from the mail truck, my Jeep, and Van Duzen’s prowlie [. . .]

Thank you!
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    It is not a normal term. But it clearly comes from the noun "prowler" or the verb "prowl".

    A policemen in a "patrol car" (a police car) who is driving around an area, looking for criminal activity, is often said to be "prowling" the neighborhood.


    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I have not heard of it either, but I would not be surprised to hear it.
    I knew a sheriff's deputy who would say things like "I parked my squad in front of the house."
    Given the context, I was able to understand that it was his term for "squad car".
    In a specialized occupation you develop specialized terms for the things you mention often.
    What I call a "police car", some police call a "prowl car". From there to "prowlie" is not far.
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