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During the night scene in L.A Confidential (1997), Officer Bud White and Dick Stensland are stationed in a car outside a residence, observing as a man inside physically assaults his spouse:

Dick Stensland: You're like Santa Claus with that list, Bud, except everyone on it's been naughty.

Bud White: Guy's been out of Q two weeks.

Dick Stensland: Leave it for later.

What does "Q" mean ?

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Likely he's referring to San Quentin, a well known prison near to Los Angeles.

Some of the synonyms for San Quentin include "The Q," "SQ," "The Rock," and "The Big House."

https://www.thesaurus.net/san%20quentin

Later in the film they refer to it as 'Quentin' (without the San)

Bud White: You know what they do to kiddie rapers in Quentin, don't ya?

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  • 1
    Isn't "The Rock" Alcatraz? And "the big house" can refer to any prison.
    – Barmar
    Jul 22, 2023 at 13:47
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    @Barmar yes to both. And SAN Quentin is near San Francisco, not Los Angeles.
    – Dale M
    Jul 22, 2023 at 13:58
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    @DaleM - Yes, but the film is, if memory serves, set in LA
    – Valorum
    Jul 22, 2023 at 15:51
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    In 1953, the only men's state prison in Southern California was the minimum-security California Institution for Men, so it isn't surprising that more hardened LA criminals would have instead served time in Northern California's San Quentin. Jul 23, 2023 at 1:18
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    Indeed, but the point is that San Quentin is ~400 miles (~650 km) away from Los Angeles, so saying the prison is "near to Los Angeles" is like saying Paris is "near" Munich. Jul 23, 2023 at 3:50

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