[DWJ] Black Maria

Elizabeth Evans er.evans at auckland.ac.nz
Mon Dec 11 22:46:10 EST 2017

Hello Martha

In New Zealand in the 1960s and early 70s 'Black Maria' was an idiomatic term for a police van, but I think 'Black Maria' was overtaken by the term 'Paddy Wagon'. 
I'm afraid I don't know what the current term is, but I wouldn't be surprised if it has changed again.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dwj [mailto:dwj-bounces at suberic.net] On Behalf Of Martha Hixon
Sent: Tuesday, 12 December 2017 3:29 PM
To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion <dwj at suberic.net>
Subject: [DWJ] Black Maria

hi, everyone,

I was reading *The Hanged Man *by P.N. Elrod, and ran across the term a Black Maria, meaning a police van. I immediately thought of Diana's book by that name, and was wondering whether anyone knows whether she was making conscious connections when she used that term, or of course if anyone else has made that connection, or has another insight on that title--?

it's *Aunt Maria *here in the U.S., so I'm more familiar with that title--and I confess, I was unfamiliar with that term as a reference to a "real" thing, so "aunt" has always made more sense to me.


Dr. Martha P. Hixon
Department of English
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
615.898.2599 / martha.hixon at mtsu.edu
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