Well, I never! I knew none of this. Or if I did, I’d long forgotten.
It’s been a while since I last posted due to work and other commitments, so I’ll be offering a series of shorter posts dedicated to the etymology of crime in general, interspersed with the occasional longer post about other things. It’s always been curious to me how many words and phrases have crept into common usage courtesy of the underworld. A great many of them are used by that perfectly honest, law-abiding people who probably haven’t the slightest idea of their original meaning. So, for openers, I’ll start off with the dreaded Tyburn, Tyburn being roughly where Marble Arch now stands and once the site of London’s premier public entertainment. That entertainment being public executions.
Condemned prisoners were held at the old Newgate Prison, now long-demolished and where the Central Criminal Court…
Source: The Etymology Of Crime – Tyburn.