up the river


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Related to up the river: Up the Creek

up the river

Sl. in prison. (Underworld.) Gary was up the river for a couple of years, but that doesn't make him an outcast, does it? The judge who sent him up the river was indicted for accepting bribery. If Gary had only known sooner!
See also: river, up

up the river

To or in prison, as in They sent him up the river for five years. This phrase originally referred to Sing-Sing Prison, on the Hudson River about 30 miles north of New York City. So used from about 1890 on, it was broadened to apply to any prison by the early 1900s.
See also: river, up

up the river

to or in prison. informal, chiefly North American
This phrase originated with reference to Sing Sing prison, which is situated up the Hudson River from the city of New York.
See also: river, up

up the river

mod. in prison. (Underworld.) The judge who sent him up the river was indicted for accepting bribery. If Gary had only known sooner!
See also: river, up

up the river

Slang
In or into prison.
See also: river, up

up the river

In jail. The infamous Sing Sing Correctional Facility, located in the town of Ossining thirty miles north of New York City, sits on the Hudson River shoreline. Any criminal convicted in a New York court and sentenced to be imprisoned there was sent “up the river.” The phrase, made popular in gangster movies, began to be applied to other prisons in the country, whether or not the cells boasted of a river view. “Up the river” should not be confused with “sold down the river,” meaning “deceived” and derived from the antebellum practice of Northern slaveholders selling troublesome slaves down the Mississippi River for a life of endless toil on cotton plantations.
See also: river, up