$B b24 DbO
Hellycr and Jackson
.A VOCABULARY OF
SOME EXAMPLES OF
of a Public Trust.
provided. and order and private agencies devoted to the detection. but Gordian knots can be untied only by use of the sword. to have cherries in the winter a can opener must be used. Perhaps the possession of such knowledge as is here presented argues a sordidness. the
rendered less powerful insofar as the evolved system of guile and wrong-doing are concerned. that the idiom of the underworld surrender its meaning to the social layei's superimposed upon it.
the very nature of crime
efficient vehicle of trans-
The vernacular of ephemeral.>
It is not with a view to sensationalism that this little work undertaken. the press. of course. very ephemeral. So with the twenty-five years ago is almost oblivion today. future. but with a sense of helpfulness. It is submitted for the perusal and study of all those public officers and professional servants whose responsibilities are such as to bring them into casual or constant contact with
the confirmed criminal classes.
hands of some unfit subjects and
thereby contribute to the propagation of its contents in undesirable quarters. This process can be made effective by investigation and When bench and bar. On the other hand we may consider that publicity is the speediest agent for the destruction of cankerous moral growths. repression and correction of crime are made familiar with the
communication of criminals.
. or to stand eggs on end you must smash them. custodians of law publicity. of social obligation.
labor may undoubtedly be promoted by a fuller understanding
of the linguistic acquirements of subjects to be dealt with in It is hoped that the publication of this every day practice. of the many recognized branches of professional crime. yet systematic
enough when the key
acquired. An occult jargon on its
face." or "meaning.
of the terms
have been derived by simple
partition of legitimate English words. for the reason that popular slang Is so extensively comprehended
are conscious of
errors of omission in the
make its publication of doubtful value as a bution to our literature. occasionally with the addition of euphonious prefix or suffix. consider what is perhaps the most popular slang term in use
today in the unregenerate world "dope.
limitation is occasioned in part by prescribed capacity and part by inexperience or unfamiliarity with criminals of all Efficiency in general correctional types and their methods.
work and we request the co-operation of all who are interested in its utility." "intelligence.It is noticeably true that our average law officer or advocate is necessarily a specialist in one or perhaps a few." at present signifying "news." Originally this word was derived from opium by partition. Only the essential and most pertinent or purely criminal vernacular usages have been selected from the mystical parlance of professional violators and their accomplices. at most.
analysis of the four hundred and thirty terms included vocabulary reveals the interesting fact that criminal
is largely an ingenious combination of epithet suggested by similitude and a perverted construction of essential and accidental attributes of things and powers to imply or express the things and actions themselves. with the disguising
. As a prime example of the transposition of an attribute for the thing itself.
vocabulary of criminal terms will render material advantages
to the conscientious worl^ers in this large
quality or quantity symbolized thereby." natural offshoots of this tendency to transpose attribute into a new substantive.
Aided by a panoramic view of recorded crime
we may roughly
criminal offenses into the
. To philologists this noteworthy observation
narcotic intoxication. process of time any of these powers came to characterize
thence information on any subject was The "dope sheet.consonant "d" prefixed to the accented syllable." are designated "dope.
Without previous instruction a person gifted with intuition might divine the signification of the majority of these terms in vogue by weighing the context of the sentences in which they are included.
we must equip ourselves with a knowledge of the ceremonies and aims as well as the To combat criminals selective means of the secret fraternists. unquestionably. successfully it is necessary to understand their complete veTo
fraternize with a secret order
hicles of intercommunication. or imaginativeness or of exaggeration. else the investigator is unqualified
to fraternize with
so as to gain a fuller ins'ght both into
and the living motives concealed behind them. Therefore it would seem a distinct gain to become familiar with them all. The sole excuse for criminal slang is the protection afforded by secrecy. every term contained therein is understood by but very few individuals even amongst criminals themselves." a "line of dope.
should infallibly point out the utter lack of scientific relation between an artificial sound or visual symbol and the thing. which once destroyed the slang is forced to die of neglect. Unquestionably. every term in the vocabulary is known to some officer of the law. Amongst narcotic habitues the most salient attribute of opium is stimullaIn tion of loquacity. too. Yet a practical working knowledge of them should be made more available by frequent reference to a complete
list. though it will naturally be superseded by
have one uniformed police officer for every thousand of population. which have their fountain head in intemperance and gluttony. reflexive crimes and crimes of violence are distinctively psychological and must be left to the individual for corrective solution.
or reflexive crimes
against personal character. nondescriptively larcenous tramps. gamblers. promoters and agents. crimes against property.
some four hundred
lions of dollars annually
by reason of the criminal element
the nation. sneak thieves. The chronic defectives who most seriously menace the social body are comprised of prostitutes.
Criminal lawyers and criminal court funcanother ratio of one to the thousand of
. burglars. Of these four.
value of business transacted by these latter three attest the stupendous proportions of the direct losses sustained by the
commonwealth through the misdirected energies
professional criminal classes. Crimes against property and crimes of sexual depravity constitute the bulk of costly and troublesome cases which choke the machinery of our legal tribunals and necessitate a regrettable public tax for maintenance of penal and detentional institutions.
conservative estimate of the number of active
professional criminals of high and low degree
probably 100. pickpockets. vsrhich have their basis in the emotions flowing out of lust.000. and their accessories. and about one auxiliary officer per thousand of population in addition. crimes against sex. fed by the sins of avarice or greed.four great departments of crimes against
self. highway robbers. It goes without saying that the volume and
violence. and the crimes of
growing out of anger. forgers. confidence men. dishonest solicitors. Here are 200. yeggs. the unrestrained liquor dealer.
of the principal
From an economical
stupendous.000 more persons in the
non-productive class. the unscrupulous pawnbroker. merchandise thieves. and the drug dispenser.
Now. his productive capacity should be at least six per cent on the investment (if possessed of industrial training).000 over-head cost charged against production.
making a conservative
of 400.200 per year. The evolution of labor unions has suppressed reform that makes for the criminal's economical
. say an average of $125 per year.000 per A year.000. S.000. we have a $360.170 per year. and unemployment or else employment of such
nature as tends to lower the standard of efficiency of the individual on the other hand.
total of $448. when account is taken of time lost in prison. plus the cost of human upkeep. together with moral delinquency. is $12.000. which means a total of about $1.000 prisoners per year.
crux of the situation seems to lie in the criminal's lack of training in the useful arts. As the average financial investment in an individual of that age in the U. and we have $882 per year per prisoner. the average thief cannot steal $1.
Admitting that the average income of the 300.170 per year earning capacity for the Or at six per cent interest alone on the average individual.000!
Suppose the average age of the professional criminal to be 30 years. a waste that is perpetuated by the present judicial and penal system.000 per 100. So far we have experimented chiefly with two extremes in penology employment of convicts for their exploitation by selfish interests on the one hand. nor even $757.
to this the cost to the
state of detaining him. The actual loss in interest
on criminal personality investments is about $75. on the estimated basis of $882 per year per criminal. personality investment he represents an annual potential addition of $757 to the national wealth.000
preying upon and relieving the producers from casioned by crimes against person and property.000 police lawyers and court officials is about $1.000. The loss sustained through the peculations of criminals and the cost of detaining them is not less than another $88.population.
fessional criminal confronts
How are we going to reduce the overshadowing difficulty? By ostracism? By sterilization? By simple detaining repression without corresponding elimination of root causes? As for
folly flees a grave danger whilst moral courage by intelligence faces and overcomes it.
But it was not the aim to air views on criminology and penology in a preface. Sterilization is as wrong in a larger moral view as infanticide in a smaller. Intemperance. The maintenance of delinquents in rotting idleness or at labor which is subsequently unprofitable to the prisoner from the standpoint of talent and character development is an unbusiness-like as
much and produces
well as an
inhumane make-shift which reacts upon society
or nothing save waste. the theory has emanated from higher intellectual. debt solves the economical problem saddles a moral mortgage upon posterity. The producers at large pay the interest on the debt. whilst the principal is shouldered by the deficient themselves who are
along to the future generations. moral and It solves the criminal problem like national spiritual darkness. Economical dependence is the first outgrowth of these known qualities but unknown quantities. greed.
fabled delusion of the ostrich. though it has seemed appropriate that the intelligence of interested men and women should be ap-
. these are the radical causes. Detention without conferring assimilable moral uplift and increased economical efficiency is a parallel for the
ostracism. Ostracism revives and perpetuates caste divisions of society.independence. and yet the criminal element is recruited mainly from the fourth estate. To date the history of penology shows some development of apprehenders and keepers in the practical side of the work. it must ultimately be determined by psychology. but at the prime expense of the apprehended. lust and anger.
moral asoect of the problem with which the prothe nation.
as the widespread use of the following idioms has a If this work achieves no other result than
should be regarded as well worth while.
R. Ore. 1914. October 3rd..
Should you find any terms missing from the following vocabulary which in your opinion should be included in it you will confer a favor by communicating same to the publisher.pealed
City Detective Dept.
Portland. Oregon. and LOUIS E.
deep significance. THORNTON.
In general currency.
Firearms of any description.
thing." A strong arm man."
ARTILLERY. a holdup.
who commonly employs
subscriptions or orders.
Derived from "good
ARM MAN. See "PUTEMUP.
Current amongst literary confidence men. A fake adverSee "HUNDRED PER CENT.
"SMOKEWAGON. a highway robber.."
ANGEL." "ROSCOE. Noun
A book agent confidence methods for obtaining
Alphabetically Arranged >^itli Practical Examples of Commoii Usages
Current amongst literary confidence men.
Current amongst "heavyweights."
financial backer. Noun
A and the demi-monde." "ROAR.
a blackmailer. See "COME THROUGH. Noun
General currency. Noun
Example: "He cannot stand the gaff without belching. A free entertainment used for a decoy to attract customers." Example: he blowed his dough he put up an awful belch." "HOLLER.
A protest. See "SQUAWK.BADGE." Also used to denote the giving of information."
BANNER." meaning to walk the streets all night or otherwise endure the hardship of loss of sleep. Noun
general usage with
plaint. a comall grafters. derived from Benjamin."
DOWN. See "SHAKEextortioner. in reference to the biblical coat of many colors. Noun
General usage. Used in the colloquialism "carrying the banner. Noun
Current amongst exhibition and "flat-joint" grafters.
General usage. a division.BENNY." Crooked. a share or a part of anything. while others say the manufacturer of men's garments. as profits or proceeds of a transaction. Noun
General usage. Noun
"I'm flopping at the big top.
General usage.. See "NOODLE. "The tool (pickpocket) detached six watches from their As a noun it has another rings in the crowded exit." i.
watch. Example: "His kisser shows that he's bent. Noun
i. See "TWISTED."
A sack coat. some say the biblical character.." The large tent used by circuses." off. Noun
usage. Example: "You're supposed to be in on anything that comes so you're entitled to your bit." meaning." "TURNIP. Example: "He did a bit in Joliet. derived from Benjamin.
"SUPER." Example: "If you don't take a chance you're entitled to no bit. A prison sentence. now evolved to include the meeting of the maximum exhibit possible in any given
." at the biggest hotel in town."
i." Also a share.
Example: "The wire rung six blocks in the breaks."
BLOCK. See "END. e. Noun
Current amongst circus grafters and "open-air men.
BIT. a head. e. particularly amongst grafters who operate on the outside of the law..
struck." Example: "He
got his block sapped. larcenous.
" and blow.. Noun
CARD. An error.
BOOSTER. "The Boost" is the shoplifting
An sophisticated classes. ostensibly
"Just as bio wed some kale that night" (spent it). a failure. To cease. ample: "We framed wrong and scored a bloomer. Verb
General usage." 1. to miss something absent. e. an unitiated Derived from booby. Noun
In general usage
specific sense. "A touch was scored the boob blowed his poke. financial embarrassment. a confederate. to lose. Examples: "Don't connect with this wop. "Pull this one off and call it the blow card." i. Noun
Current with genteel grafters. Examples: "Blow! here comes a bull. used by a "gonif.BLOOMER.
BOOSTER. One who endorses a person. to get away. Any useless thing or condition."
BLOW. thing or action of immoral nature either by complimentary
action or by moral support. to take and give winning and losing in good faith
to a confederate. e. a victim."
shilliber's work is to cop in a gambling. he is on the blow card.
a helper." A operates in merchandise stores in daytime. the final play or thing in any series. an assistance.
Current amongst gamblers and genteel grafters. Noun
Used by confidential grafters. a currency amongst "gonif s. the last card. broke..
UP. To deceive.BREAKS. designated right and left breech." signifying a female provider for a pimp. from a convention or other popular gathering. A female confederate." bull con. which latter originally was exclusively used by "gonifs"
BREEZE." Example: "Fan his right breech for a leather.
(britch). to See "BLOW. to beguile. Any place of exit where throngs of people pour through en stream.
e. pockets. "She attention. a female companion. Noun
loot." "MUFF. Example: breezed everybody on the line. See "DONY. Example: "The guns are rooting into the swell mob at the Grand Opera
breaks. to come in or go out.
Current amongst thieves who specialize in plunder or Melted silver or gold. for which see "KICK." leave." Also to move on."
"Feel of his right hip pocket for a pocketbook."
The rear pants amongst pickpockets chiefly. a woman of loose morals. in contradistinction to the front pants pockets. See "MELT. as from a theatre. to occupy one's to descant loquaciously.
"hot air." Broad is derived from the far-fetched metaphor of "meal ticket. or from a street or railroad car or from a boat. Noun
guile. all of which afford facilities for the pickpocket to operate under cover and in the press of unusual excitement. from the fanciful correspondence of a meal ticket to a railroad or other ticket. Noun
Current amongst genteel grafters chiefly. Noun
Current amongst pickpockets.
deception. optimism." Also used to indicate an officer of the law whose function is to apprehend or arrest. Example: "They tax you one buck for a room without a bath at the cheapest hotel
in the burg.
BULL. Ex"The dick buffaloed him into tipping his plant.
BUCK. Probably derived from the financial term bull. detective or policeman.Also a indicate "broad. "Tipping the broads' is riding on a purchased transportation ticket."
BUFFALO. a lie. to frighten. Noun
A fearful looking sore artificially produced to simulate a burn or scald by the use of Spanish blister."
BUFFALO. marshal. man" is a "BROAD SPIELER"." ample:
General usage. Noun
BULL CON. "Beating the broads" is corrupting the conductor or other collecting functionaire of a transportation line. whether a constable. sheriff.
Current generally. to intimidate. A dollar. Verb
General usage." or a conductor's hat check. Misrepresentation. "BREEZE.
. which in See polite and legal circles signifies inflation. To bluff. A "three-card playing card from the deck of fifty-two.
Used by alms beggars.
BUNK. bumped when he saw that the game was up. administered with a combination rubber and glass blowing tube. powder containing an illicit proportion of cocaine." "He cuter and got bumped making a get-away." dope flends. Verb
General usage. "He reflectively it signifies suicide.
with intent to abuse the influence so acquired. Noun
A catarrh amongst "hop-heads. ostentation. to establish confidential relations
In general currency. Noun
Current amongst pickpockets.
"BUNCOMBE. Example: "The framein the play was to bunk the sucker with protection up and scare team work." a contraction of buncombe."
to cheat. Example: fall for this bunk you're a simp.
To employ misrepresentation. Noun
Current amongst heavyweights and desperate characters
To kill. though understood by grafters generally." women. Example: "The moll buzzards tore into the jam at the market house on Saturday night and glommed a batch of pokes. A timid or amateur or low"gun" who operates on "molls. Derived by Deceit.
. corruption of form while retaining the meaning of "If you "Bunco."
practical metaphor for a receptacle designed to confine or bottle humans.
CAN. Example: "Keep cases on his actions and you will learn his motive. A revolver. Derived from the prankish cruelty of tieing a tin can to a dog's tail. Example: star. a prison. Example: for so long that he is down to cases. In pickpocket parlance it See "GUN. Also a lavatory. doubtfrom the metal disc toy with starlike points which revolves by pulling crossed strings which pass through it. to eliminate. whose effectual purpose is to get rid of a useless or undesirable
A place of confinement. Observation. the last of a series of "He hasn't turned a trick things or actions.
"GONIF. urinal. Noun
Current chiefly amongst prison habitues. Also amongst crooks who resort to the use of weapons." The term is de-
badge or are you?
says he. Example: "He rumbled and made the can. toilet. a cell. "He'll stick his hands up denoting a firearm. scrutiny. Example:
flash the canister.
General currency. For reply I flashed my buzzer.
Current mainly in western
General usage. Verb
General usage. Noun
An officer's circles. a finality. survey." Derived." Also an ultimate. A prison. To discharge." See "CANISTER.
"He made so many bad
breaks we had to can him."
CASES. the insignia of authority. Noun
General usage." signifles a pickpocket of indefinite order."
" "Down to cases" is used to signify that the cards are all dealt and played. Verb
To watch. to slash.
Current amongst burglars and store prowlers.
CENTURY." copped a heel on the chip and glommed a century."
CAT HOP. a hundred dollar
In general use amongst yeggs and rough-neck criminals. used only in regard to an "Beware of that geezer attack upon a human.
to scrutinize. Derived from knife.
CASE. in faro bank the recording of cards turned out of the dealer's box is denominated "keeping cases. To cut. Noun
Current amongst gamblers. Verb
Supra idem. though the French term for knife is "canif.
. A cashbox.
to observe. the French word "chef." whilst the last card to remain in the box is called the "case card. Verb
General usage." or a "dinger." by reason of a cook's use of a carving knife. Example: that he does not chiv you. a cash drawer without belling device. the money or resources at an end. a sharp-edged tool or weapon." or a "damper. a till. A cash receptacle with belling device is called a "combination "He Example: chip.rived from gambler's parlance."
" See "JOHN.
CLAW. The "tool"." headed Also used by exponents of the art of self-defense to indicate the infliction of defeat upon an opponent. Verb
To take all one possesses of a given usage."
. the "jerve". an "angel"."
Current amongst pickpockets. a victim. Example: in wrong with that bunch and got cleaned.CHUMP. Noun
CLAW. an inferior. Verb
currency amongst the plunderbund. A state of financial embarrassment. kind of valuables in any manner. An unsophisticated individual. Example: "He made a pass at me and I cleaned him in one. the "wire" or the expert operator in a "gun mob" who lifts the money and valuable collateral from the victim's "Our mob is working under one of person.
General usage. but he is thoroughly clean now. two."
CLEAN. Example: the speediest claws in the country. "He commodity. "He Example: wasn't very dirty when he got in town. exhausted supply of a given property.
to annex. a "captain.
To snatch. Verb
General usage. three.
General usage. to deplete one's assets.
Example: "Booze and the blowers (women) cops the lot.
General usage. To give up. Ex"After I showed him the situation was in our ample: hands he came through with the dope. relations. when the "stall" should "come through" from the rear. to deliver. The commutation or good time allowed prisoners for good behavior. See
convict. Example: "You grab one month copper off the first year.
." consisting of a frontal attack or sudden onslaught upon an intended victim with the purpose of bewildering the latter in order that the "wire" may operate upon the victim from the rear. to surrender any secret information or any material goods demanded.
a "steered" pros-
COME THROUGH." In pickpocket parlance "to come through" describes a function of one of the "wire's" "stalls. Noun
Current amongst prison habitues. the relative positions may be reversed. Example: "Precede this mark through the car door. Verb
General usage. wheel and come through just as he descends the steps. See "CLOUT." Cop is an old Cockney flash-word and signifies capture.
General usage. See "BUNK. Noun
General usage. Noun
General usage.COME-ON. or."
Passively it means to die.
CREEP. use stealth.
CRACK. stingy person.
talk." "The copper got croked in the jack-pot. Noun
General usage. a crawler Current amongst crooked pimps. actively it is used as an elegant expression for murder. Verb
. See "PIKER. Examples: "He croked himself with bichloride. Example: "This fink crabbed the any plan of action. Noun
usage. and we went on the nut for a double saw-buck.COSE. Verb
Current amongst prowlers and panel-joint workers. Noun
For example see
"EYE FULL. searches the clothes of a victim while the latter is abed with the creep's paramour."
General usage. to crawl." quality in intellectuality or habits. of inferior usage.
To spoil or ruin or render impossible General usage.
General usage. Noun
Used by gamblers and western criminals. e.
Adjective Current amongst shoplifters and pennyweighters. "In the get-away of traffic. For example of fool. applied to the weather."
CRUSH. a josh.
in the joint."
trivial. Reducing action to its lowest terms.
CUT TO THE BRAKES." i."
crow. displaying only the "The mark stalled to the can. inspected his bank-roll and separated the amount required to finance the intended operation. hobos and the meandering unCross-country.
Used by yeggs
Used by drug
General usage. Example: they hammed twenty miles cross lots.
a bale of slum
forcible entry or exit. Adverb
use amongst yeggs.
CROKER. worthless. "The victim retired to the lavatoiy. essential.
Also as verb."
physyician. Example: gunned his soft and cut to the breaks. "a boob..
insignificant. away from frequented routes employed.
Current amongst gamblers and ready-money grafters. by star route.
Used by prowlers and daylight "heels. Noun
Current amongst jewelry thieves and those who commit A watch fob. Noun
General usage. and box-car
mainly.DAMPER. a shoplifters chiefly.
DICK. shoplifters." A
Current amongst pickpockets.
DANGLEE. any article of jewelry which swings free at one end. an "elevator. Noun
for a pickpocket of
any degree. Noun
DIP. but can be transposed for "boosters. "CANNON". Noun
. out of funds." boosters are making a plunge with this sense it is used as an adjective. "GONIF.
Current amongst store burglars. a larceny from the person. See "CHIP. "TOOL"." cash drawer or register. "JERVE".
DINGE. "GUN". "The a "booster". pendant. Noun
"lifter". an earring." Example: In a derrick ben.
useless in any specific case.
" Example: "Stake me to two-bits to get a doss. Verb
General currency. A place to sleep.
leave. See "KIP". plunder.."
flee. of the demi-monde."
DUCK. a hand. "FLOP. a hand in a card game. double.
General currency. the "double-cross." the female sex organ." Example: box was crushed last night. A female See "HOOKER"'. A ticket of admission "The ducat or transportation." Example: victim. "The ticket office was
burglarized. "Reading the duke"
.merchandise. effects that can readily be Example: disposed of in the market as new goods. See "BROAD. A fist.
appear." I sleep. Noun
Used by gamblers and genteel grafters. glad hand. "MUFF. "FILLY". "There's a mob riding the rattlers between here and the junction who have a dise plant stashed (cached) in the
jungles." Apparently from the French "je dors." Derived from the Hebrew "yoni." i. a bed.
Current amongst pimps and free lovers chiefly. Noun
A conspiracy to deceive General usage. Loot.
DUKE. "JANE". Noun
Current amongst genteel grafters. e."
defraud a got the
Bread. An apprehension in criminal action. Command or control by reason of advantage in an exigency when shooting may be expected. "We had to drop a stall for missing too many meets." Examples: "The boys are pivoting on the main drag/' i.
cold victuals to a beggar.. See "PUNK. a meeting place.. tobacco or opium. lost one by arrest. An influence with one in authority. a "pull"."
DUMMY. e. Noun
General currency. a main thoroughfare in any community. begging on the street. "SNEEZE". "All the fagots Example: (sissies) will be dressed in drag at the ball tonight. e. See "FALL"." Also used as a verb to express the action corresponding to a similar state. "cropping his duke" is reading an opponent's hand by trickery in a card game. Noun
General usage. Noun
Used by yeggmen and hobos.is fortune-telling by palmistry". a hangout. "RUMBLE". See "STEM." i.. discharged him. Amongst female impersonators on the stage and men of dual sex instincts "drag" denotes female attire donned by a male. e. a joint. an establishment of any kind." i. or donation of
See "LUMP. e. Example of the latter: "The tribe dropped a man in the day's work.
hand-out. "The muffs are cruising on the drag tonight. A rendezvous.
. the main street. "tipping your duke" is betraying your intention"." Also an inhalation of smoke.. Noun
General currency. soliciting on the street.
Current amongst yeggmen."
and prison habitues." i.
a portion.EIGHT DIE CASE. See "PUT-EM-UP. a "stick-up" man. as jewelry or gewgaws. "Blow this joint. Pinkerton Detective Agency."
cosmopolitan centers. a In shoplifter's and holdup men's parlance. Noun
The object of scrutiny or of attentive observation.
a division. for which eight dice are thrown by players. Noun
See Current amongst open-air or "sure-thing" grafters. Noun
detective. the totality of spots on the eight dice The corresponding with the numbers on the prizes.
secret of this graft consists in the dealer's fraudulent counting of the spots arbitrarily and disarranging them before the victim can finish the count." A glass showcase containing numbered prizes.
'BIT. an operative of the Pinkerton Agency. a bolster."
General usage. booster." Example: Crackin'! The mark on your left is getting an eye full.
"DICK. "Nix See "STRETCHING. it's protected Example: by the Eye. "FLAT JOINT."
The General currency amongst long-odds criminals."
"SKIRT"." weapon. watch or "Fan the pratt for a poke." "He was soused when he attempted to pull the stunt and got a fall.
See "FALL. expended in procuring legal representation. Exbail. See "RUMBLE". Noun
General currency. Noun
Used by narcotic habitues chiefly. a victim. or bribery of officers or court functionaries. or of confidence men. To surreptitiously feel a victim's pockets. "If you know a good Example: man who can make a fill steer him in."
be influenced. as pocketbook. to be
FALL DOUGH. To join a mob. "DROP. Noun
In pickpocket parlance. Noun
General currency. as a "hop fiend."
Current amongst criminals who operate under clique or A fund kept in reserve for profraternal organization.FALL. as of guns. Verb
General currency amongst gang criminals. One addicted to the use of drugs. and thus fill a vacancy in the organization."
tection. to be taken in." a "dope fiend. or inadvertently brush the person for the purpose of locating an object sought."
scapegoat. "to fall for"
to be deceived by.
An arrest. "No one can join out unless he puts up five ample: centuries for fall dough. A young woman of questionable morals. not necessarily criminal bv choice but potentially so." Used as a verb.
Used by yeggs and hobos. for flaggings is scarce. for officers. Noun
General currency. Noun
Current amongst confidence crooks who specialize in paper securities or signed orders for merchandise or service. Noun Used
general criminal parlance. An unreliable confederate or incompetent sympathizer. but he proved to be a fink. See "CRAB"."
FLAGGINGS. "He got the push sneezed by Example: mixing with a finger. it's a fix.
where grafters may operate with impunity. Example: "Don't pay any attention to the bulls. send for Jones. an endorsement.
diamond." An informer. he's a sure-shot fixer and can square anything short of murder."
General currency. Noun
Current amongst criminals who localize more or less exSee "STOOL." Example: "We staked him to a day's work for a try-out. One who acts as go-between for thieves and bribe takers. the mouthpiece. "LOB. stay away from that man's burg. an investigator tensively. Example: See "JOHN HANCOCK."
FISH EYE. Example: "If you get a rumble."
FIXER. Example: "If you are not a vegetarian. usually applied to cold victuals." print on this line.FINGER. Meat of any description. Noun
Current chiefiy in eastern criminal circles.
FINK. A "Put your finger signature.
object for inspection. the "SHELLS". to defraud. Used especially by See "LAYING". so they took a ample:
floater. DLES". "FLOPPER. the "EIGHT DIE CASE". the "SWINGING BALL".
FLASH. a fraud. the "PADthe "PINCH WHEEL". any gaming establishment where fortune is presumed to wait upon skill combined with risk.
FLOATER." Derived from "flim-flam. A suspended sentence. Noun
General currency in police circles."
FLIM. An opprobrious epithet for loose women. "THREE CARD MONTE". fairs. the "FISH POND". Verb
General currency. Noun
Current amongst pimps and criminals who are contemptuous of female values.FLAP. "TWIST. the "DISCS" are all grafting flat joints.
To show. The "TIVOLI". a mandatory order to quit a community or locality. Ex"The rap wasn't strong enough. Noun
Current amongst open-air sure-thing men who operate at circus gatherings."
FLAT JOINT. Also employed to designate the female sex organ. the "SPINDLE". carnivals. See "BUNK". Noun
Current in polite criminal circles." short-change experts.
exhibit. The term is derived from the essentiality in all of these crooked devices of a counter or other flat area across or upon which the
be conducted. A swindle.
Current amongst yeggs. a secret The contracimplying sinister intention."
In tute rs)
.FLOP. Example: frisk and see if he has a rod. Example: "Let's above. a "frame-up." Example: himself a star flopper. dope fiends. recline or Also used by short changers as a synonym of lie down. as is the case with all terms which have become the common property of both criminals and their enemies." Also used by to signify fraud by confusion. A bed. Noun
general use by money changers. of a room."
." tion is used for greater secretiveness."
General currency. but he's crabbing a string of good lays by hyping with a deuce where a saw buck could be changed just as readily. "Aim. a place to sit."
FLOP. of re"Give him a ceptacles or of a community. prison habitues and some extent in general use by initiates in the mysteries of informal annexation."
FLOPPER. on the grass and pound our ear. A search. "What's Example: the frame for putting this one over? The lemon. A prearranged plan of action. an examination of the contents of one's pockets. switchers ( substi"He fiim-flammers." See "HYPER. a "shake-down". Verb Same as
To sit or lie down. Example: money changers "There's a muff in that candy store that can be flopped because she can't count change. Noun
FRAME. See "LAYING.
Example: "Give me a front here till I nick this leather."
Some general currency. An inquisitorial glance. a in the cosmopolitan demi-monde." "Front me Example: out of this joint and don't lose my left wing. Noun
A woman. punishment. complex or undetermined meaning."
FRONT. defense. an impertinent gazing or staring. Noun
General currency. thing or condiIn general currency.FRISK. or the instruments of these. a secondary who interposes his person or contributes overtly to a surreptitious action. failure. Example: "There'll be no hop-heads joining out with this mob. See "STALL. It is tion." "Take a gander at this dump as we pass."
GAFF. and Example: don't get the eye of the guinea inside. See "RUBBER". "HOOKER. Noun
An offensive action. a "stall". Verb
Supra idem. of vague. for they can't stand the gaff. Verb
See above. questionable female character. a searching Also the simple look. to conceal a principal in open criminal action. To hide."
FLUZIE. "EYE FULL.
"Frisk everybody that enters the
FRONT. act of looking or seeing. variously employed or construed to mean defeat. but used mainly by crooks whose An auxiliary operations require a shield or distraction. See "DONY".
General currency. man without regard to qualities.
drink of liquor. Noun
GASH. A pair of spectacles or nose glasses. Noun
General currency. "ROSCOE. a firearm. Noun
term for woman."
Synonymous with "gazabo.
General currency. Also used as a verb. a pistol.
A man. Noun
Supra idem. Noun
GAZABO." Derived from "Gatling.GAP. See "SCENERIES": "RINGERS.
also as a verb. signifying illuminated. A light.
Supra idem. a
GINK. a lamp.
flap. but originating in the East.
GAT. a match."
GLIM. Example: "Go and take a pike (peek) at the dump and see if it's glimmed.
In general use." "gazuny."
slangy circles. A gun."
A clothes"He prowled a laundry hung up to dry."
Current amongst yeggs. See "GUN". to take."
General currency. Verb
See "NAILED. "CANNON". The term is taken intact from the Hebrew and is used mostly by pickpockets. Noun
line. you are liable to get grabbed. Noun
An Current amongst opium smokers and drug fiends.
a strong box. Verb
violence. a pickpocket.
Verb.GLOM. Passively it signifies arrested. Also used in the diminutive form of "GONpipe."
GONIF. to rob. implying this short and drop off two
blocks below. Noun
Current amongst yeggs chiefly. General currency. actively it signifies the imperfect past action of arresting or seiz"Steer clear of the tip: It's made and ing. "Glom
to snatch." Also a verb. Noun
A thief of any class. Past Part. hobos and meanderers.
GOOSEBERRY. See "PETE. "BUZZARD. Example: gooseberry for a skin. Example: See "GLOMMED".
GROUCH BAG. and old-timers."
SHOE. A chicken." "gink. See conversation. an opportunity for plying criminal "How's grift on the shorts in the Example: Crow. Examples: "We're going down in the jungles and have a gump stew.
Current amongst yeggs. A place. Too many togs.
though enjoying See pickpocket. In the sense of a man it is synonymous with "gazabo. as a pocket or receptacle.
Graft. Palaver." "mark". Example: "He's under cover with a grouch bag. Noun
Current amongst yeggs. Noun
as well as Europeans generally. Noun
Current amongst yeggs and western thieves.
GUMP. it also means an Italian."
GUN. sailors. a reserve fund held in secret to the exclusion of fraternists."
. a contumelious synonym for egotism. hobos and peripatetics generally. Noun
General usage. A general circles. a fowl.GRIFT.
detective. for concealing money or valuables.
To have "guts" is to be unencumbered with conscientious scruples relative to the object contemplated. Noun
trains. Example: "The only way you can ride this rattler tonight is to make the gunnels or the rods. See "GANUsed both as verb and noun to express
"Nix! There's a dick on action or thing.
GUTS." The term "bug" is derived from railroad parlance.
GUNNELS. e. Amongst yeggs and others fa-
. Examples: the corner gunning us. Noun
Current amongst yeggs chiefly.. a "The tribe's got a neophyte of trampdom.
DER". to scrutinize. Noun
GUN MAN. denoting a signal attached to the front of the engine as an indication of the train's nature. "GAP.GUN. ability to withstand the most powerful emotions. Example: gunshel pivoting on the stem with a bug. Noun
all classes of criminals who beat their way on The curved trusses extending from end to end underneath both freight and passenger cars. Verb
To watch. A metaphor derived from the common experience of depressing sensation concomitant with an inrush of the violent emotions of fear. Nerve. a youth." "He's giving us a gun. A boy. attracting
attention. horror or other moral obstructions. "sand". "The gang of tramps have sent a boy up on the main street to beg under pretense of having a wounded or disabled arm or limb.
Example: guts tonight over this division. the condition produced by habitual indulgence in See "YEN-YEN. he's a clever agent to slip you a gyp." Derived from the popular experience with thieving Gypsies. a night policeman or marshal.
GUY. the hotel donegan (lavatory) and fire (take a hypodermic injection).miliar with clandestine railroading the "guts" signifies the various construtcive parts underneath a car. to cheat by means of guile
and manual dexterity. Noun
Current in polite circles.
mainly. an action that "Look out for belies a professed sincerity."
HACK. in general. or the hidden "We'll ride the essentials of rolling stock. "LAYING.
GYP. e. a craving." Also used by "fiat-joint" grafters.
GYP. comprehending the general
of face-to-face criminal transactions. Noun
ridicule. The act of short-changing." Example: "I must drop into drugs. Most usually it signifies the watchman of a building. See "HYPE".. Necessity for opiates. A night watchman." i.
HABIT. a duplicity. a defrauding by substitution. "FLOP". Used as
. Example: this guy. but especially significant amongst short changers. Noun
Current amongst yeggmen and prowlers. for I feel my habit coming on. trucks." Example: "Gyp this boob with a deuce. the gunnels.
A man. brake-beams. rods. Noun
Current amongst dope fiends. To flim-flam. Verb
Some general currency.
To walk. a shoplifter's equipment A "harness bull" is the concealing merchandise. Nonn
Limited usage. Used by holdup men to signify a weapon. it's a case of ham. signifying a uniformed in contradistinction to a plain clothes officer or policeman
detective. Side-whiskers. razors. e. garrulousness. See "BREEZE"."
Insincere or trifling Current in polite slangy circles. Noun
Weapons." i. Example: hacked but not kipped. "mutton chops.
General usage. commonest form of the term's use. chiefly by criminals who understand more or less about physiognomical description and disguises. Noun
Current chiefly amongst merchandise thieves.a verb in the past participle it describes the accomplished "The joint's function of a night watchman.
HARDWARE. A uniform.. watched but not occupied by a sleeper. small talk.
. Example: "Fan him for hardware.
HARNESS. tools and paraphernalia used by safecrackers and forcible entry prowlers.
get a tumble."
A calaboose. inefficient or pusillanimous pretender to sterling criminal See "FINK". Noun
General circulation. a husky capable of delivering a dangerous attack in the event of personal encounter.
General currency. used as a verb it signifies to "give a person the worst of it.
Current amongst long-odds crooks. the legend has it. "WICKY.HARP. a prison. understanding. Noun
General usage. "CRAB". "DEAD ONE". Noun
General currency. A metaphor for lampoon. a Derived from the nautical term "booby-hatch." Used also in the sense of "sneak" as noun and
verb. nate the raw type. a burglar. police station."
HEAVY WEIGHT. to stalk. a "stickup man. an undesirable."
HEEL. a yegg. Noun
An incompetent. used principally to desig-
HEP. qualifications. A desperate thief. Example: "Chop the skirmish. Sapiency." Derived from the name of a fabulous detective who operated in Cincinnati."
HATCH." Example: "The only way he can be sprung is to crush the hatch. "LOB." See jail. "on." See
"GAFF. an General currency. he's hep. who knew so much about criminality and criminals that his patronymic became a byword for the last thing in wisdom of illicit possibilities. "CAN"'.
tramp. we've got someExample: body on our hip. A metaphor taken from masonry to signify initiation into the secrets of the yegg profession. an attachment.
Current chiefly amongst yeggmen."
HIRAM. adopted when the latter term acquired too much notoriety."
Current amongst shoplifters mainly. a responsihip. Example: "By way of the Hiram!" An exclamatory challenge or password used for a "feeler" to probe the state of mind of the encountered one. Noun
The walnut Current amongst "sure-thing" grafters. designating the act of lying on
the side to
"pipe. "What's the use of taking more on your hip?" Also used to denote being shadowed or followed. "DERRICK"."
"I can't see you tonight. Noun
bility. Example: "What's his grift? He's on the hoist. Example: "This proposition is as sure as fate and as strong as the
hicks. A synonym for yegg.
HOBO. Also current amongst opium smokers. The profession of See "BOOST". I've got a Jane on
burden. "Don't round." shoplifting. husks used in the three shell and pea game." Always used colloquially. tendencies.HICKS. Noun
General currency. an incubus.
protest. "SQUAWK. "FLUZY. "HOOKY" is larcenous."
HOMBRE. "Hooks" also signifies the worst of a bargain.
like the letter "U.
A man. a
General usage. From
the Spanish for man.
See "DONY"'. or slung around the operator's back and suspended from both hooks. They are instantaneously detachable and may be "sloughed" by an expert without detection. upon the hook merchandise may be hung. When not in use the hooks' sharp points are sheathed in cork to prevent injury to the person.
"BELCH". "HOOK' means a thief.
Current amongst shoplifters. Noun
Western usage. Noun
HOLLER. concealed from the outside view by a pad of cloth similar in pattern to the cloth of the coat and having the inner arm of the hook filed to a needle-like sharpness.HOOKS." Example: "Did the sucker make a holler? Sure he rumbled the touch before we blowed the joint and made a roar. "WOLF". Noun
A set of steel hooks shaped through the cloth of a heavy "boosting ben" under the armpits.
To jump or
about from place to
." of fairies
HOP MERCHANT." "glims" and "supers. Noun
A dispenser of opium Current amongst drug habitues. Noun
Used by sure-thing admen. is the principal hundred per cent graft.
dear. but are itinerant." used in the three shell game. Noun
General usage. by confidence grafters who
the plausible appearance of giving value for Fake received. The walnut shells See "HICKS".
HUCKS. Grafters of mediocre intellectuality seek protection from apprehension for vagrancy by carrying a stock of "hoops. The middle of a term. but who in reality give nothing. "NUTS." or "blocks" Not to be confounded with the jovial ex(watches).
HUNCH. Usually applied to drug peddlers who have no established headquarters. plated ring. Noun
Current amongst "sure-thing" grafters.
an intuition. an
General currency. A "phony hoop" is a goldsolicitation.HOOP. Example: I'm just over the long have you got yet on your bit?
hump. though used most frequently by "shortodds" grafters who practice merchandising by unlicensed A finger ring."
Current amongst prison habitues. "How the half-way point in a prison sentence. "Whoops! characters. and opiates. "We'll make the ball game on Sunday and Example: play the bucks.
A flim-flammer. a Current amongst money-changers. Noun
in localities where North European laborers A corruption of Hungarian. There are other systems of the "hyper" in vogue.
HUSTLER. thief is designated a "hustler.
naturalized. In the exchange he strives to confuse the obliging changemaker for the purpose of obtaining an excess of his proper due. Noun
General currency. whereupon a substitute envelope is tendered by the "hyper" with a request that he hold it until the "hyper" returns
his home and secures the additional small change. but the
in all. one who makes a purchase and tenders a bank note and after receiving proper change
pretends to discover the exact amount of change required pay for the goods purchased and thereupon declares his preference for the bank note rather than for the change."
HYPER. the "hyper" requests a bank note
for subsidiary coin seals the
and upon being accommodated ostenbank note in an addressed envelope. layer of currency.
The merchant discovers that the subsidiary coin
than the stated amount and demands his bank note.
A grafter. a pimp who steals betimes. that is. Or. but employed to a Continental European who is unwashed and unsignify
. in trouble.
JACKPOT. inaccessSee "Sloughed."
JAKE. he's Jake to the whole works. A woman. though not in any opprobrious sense. the sexual complement of the term "JOHN. Noun
General currency. a retribuSee "JINX".
a difficult strait." Example: ing a boob out of yourself.
sometimes used. satisfactory. Example: "The front's in the jamb. "IN DUTCH. The state knowing. trouble." Also used to signify trouble in the sense of "JACK POT.JAB." a
man. though with the
nunciation while retaining the former spelling. tion. See "HEP"." As an adjective "jake" means good. Noun
Current amongst morphine and cocaine fiends. acof
A dilemma. try the rear. "JOE. all-right. locked up. Noun
General currency amongst cosmopolitan crooks. Noun
General currency. as a store or house." He pulled a raw-jaw stunt and
jackpot. The state of being closed. Noun
Current chiefly amongst yeggs and prowlers. dermic injection." not in the sense of "sluffed" as the ible. familiarity with a secret or a scheme or "You're makmeaning.
" "You've jiggered "Jigger!
General currency. a misfortune. Noun
Current amongst pickpockets. General currency. Verb
General currency. an Injunction mar. the "claw" in a gun mob.
You'll jim the
for "JIGGER. to spoil. a threat. Noun
A fake wound. A cheap.
Current amongst yeggs and tramps. Contraction of "JIM CROW. "The Jerve after the left jerve for a bundle of scratch. ExThe bull's coming. to deface or derange. See "BUG". Verb
Supra idem." or other crippled condition.
JIGGER. inferior or worthless thing. rang in a Jessie and got away with it." See "CROW." whole works. "Go Examples: the "wire". A vest pocket. the "tool"." the tip. a mistake."
An exclamation of warning. An affair.P. "P. burn."
. "He used bad judgment and got into a jig. Example: "They're all jigger bums.
the lock. NoTin
General currency." was nailed bang to rights coming through
-." of which "JOE" and "JAKE" are
subdivisions or contractions or substitutions. Wise.
a dime. Derived from the common observaJohn Hancock.
loose with any
General currency.JIMMY. sophisticated."
erally. amples: "She's got a John keeping her. JINX.
powerful chisel or lever used by prying doors and v/indows open.
In difficult straits.
ment. See "FINGER PRINT. A "captain"." "Ask this John what time the train starts.
JOHN HANCOCK. of Revolutionary fame. Noun
General currency amongst the demi-monde. a "sucker" an amorous fool with money and free love Also a man in a contemptuous sense.
JITNEY. extremely legible hand. Noun
General usage. thieves for
JIMMY. wrote a massive. he hasn't got a jitney. See "Hep.
Used variously to signify an extremity in Example: "Break away.
Used mainly by yeggs and prowlers."
Current amongst confidence men and paper grafters genA signature. Noun
General currency in polite criminal circles.
Example: mark to the jug and case what he draws. Noun
any property of rela"Everything in his keister
junk. A business establishment. Example: his clothes that he has been riding John "You can see by O's. Sometimes used as a synonym of "DUMP. blow."
loafing place or hang out beAn in the woods or not.
money or compact valuables.
prison. a General usage. Noun
General currency. Example: "Let's drop in this joint and buy a suit of clothes. a hangout."
JOLT. used in contradistinca "RATTLER. what money he draws. a physical or moral jar.
Current amongst yeggs.
tive worthlessness.. a secret receptacle "Tail this
e. Example: "He did a jolt
nncfi hftfnrp in ." though it does not necessarily imply meanness or disrepute.
A prison sentence. a penalization." a passenger train."
." i.Tnliet." Amongst "yeggs" it signifies also a moneyless safe.
Current generally. Noun
A freight train.
Inferior goods.JOINT. Noun
isolated or little frequented spot.
Some general currency. kale that would choke a cow. money of any kind. Noun
A crook. Noun
General usage. "HUSTLER. a "squawk." Example: forty-seven kinks in his tail.
"DOSS". Also a protest. A satchel."
KEISTER." meaning a "Cut him out. any pocket. amongst "guns" it is used exclusively to signify a front pants pocket. Nonn
General currency. he's got "working plug. currency.
bed. In common usage it signifies a pocket." Example: "Are there any kinks in the joint?" Also used by yeggs to designate a non-criminal tramp. also as a verb.
to bed. Noun
Bank notes. to sleep. from the term "GREEN GOODS. a small grip. etc."
KIP. term is derived from the epithet "gay-cat. Example: "What's his grift? He prowls the depots for
keisters. See "HOOK". a larcenous criminal."
KICK. "FLOP. but employed most effectively by pickpockets.KALE. General circulation. or one who is not initiated into the In this latter sense the particular craft of the speaker. to go
a place to sleep. a handbag. See "PAD"." the latter metaphor for money being derived from the greenish "He's got a bundle of Example: aspect of currency.
Example: "You'll recognize him by his hatchet
KITTY HOP, Noun
"double-cross"; a "frame-up," in which "both ends may be played against Also used to indicate a practical joke. middle." the "We got the skirt to frame a kitty hop for Example:
chiefly amongst gamblers. situation or proposition; a
him and he
punch; to beat unmerci-
Example: "The three dicks laced him like a football and then squared it by throwing an order of ham and eggs under his belt."
Current amongst statutory criminals. prison sentence of one year; sometimes used to signify an indefinite term of years in prison. The "STRETCH" better expresses the "He's dolatter sentence of penal servitude. Example: ing a lag in the little can." Also used as a verb as the equivalent of "RAILROADING" a criminal to prison.
General currency. A hasty get-away; a running escape. Example: "He heeled to the door and made a lam."
General usage. To run; to flee. ployed in the imperative mood.
Most frequently em-
Supra idem. from justice.
Example: "He's a lamister out
Also a fugitive of Chicago."
General currencj'. Gold-plated; flimsy; unsubstantial. Derived from the name of a firm of Chicago jewelers who supplied the cheap jewelry trade with "PHONIES," or fake jewelry. Example: "You can't hock it for twoAlso used to signify inferior personal bits: it's lamos."
Current amongst prowlers and sneak thieves. To watch from ambush; to spy upon a person or establishment. Example: "To get this dump right we'll have to lay out on it every night for a week and make the doings."
Verb, Present Part.
Current amongst flim-flammers. To make change; to cheat by the ruse of substitution.
"LAYING THE ENVELOPE."
general currency, but used chiefly by pickpockets. pocketbook; a wallet; a billhook. See "POKE." Example: "He has an inside leather."
Current chiefly amongst bunco men. A confidence game which skill at pool is the bait, though its successful negotiation is based upon the dishonesty or avarice of the A lemon joint is a See "WIRE"; "SPUD." victim. crooked pool and billiard room. Lately evolved to comprehend the general meaning of a disappointment, a commercial illusion. In this regard "lemon" is used in the deprecating sense conveyed by the term "gold mine." "Lemons are selling in the open market for Example: thirty cents a dozen, but this one cost me a hundred iron
LIVE ONE, Noun
An informed individual; a prospectively profitable victim; an ambitious or keenly alert person. Example: "If we put this live one through the sprouts we throw our feet under the mahogany at the big top all
the rest of the winter."
An General currency amongst better informed crooks. awkward craftsman; a delinquent; an opprobrious charatcer amongst thieves. Contracted from "LOBSTER," which in turn is a metaphor derived by suggestion from "CRAB," the latter symbolizing backward action or the "LOBBY GOW" propensity for reluctant participation. is another form of the same term, used principally by confidence and "flat-joint" grafters to signify a minor
confederate, or "booster."
Verb, Present Part.
Current amongst pickpockets. The act of following, escorting or forcibly jamming passengers aboard a street or passenger car or up any flight of steps, as the entrance to an elevated railroad station; the purpose of "LOAD-
Slightly erratic in mental processes.
A pimp." Examples: "Three time losers cop life in some
General currency. This latter operation is gratefully termed a "sit-down. donation of victuals intended for consumption outside the house.ING"
is to take advantage of unsuspecting eagerness on the part of passengers so that violent extraction of valuables from pockets shall scarcely be heeded. Adverb
Current chiefly in western circles. Derived from the French term "Macquereau. hobos and the indigent."
LUMP. though not used exclusively by criminals."
MAIN STEM. Noun
Current chiefly amongst yeggs."
currency. See "Con. Noun
General munity. Example: "We were loading 'em on for two hours steady in the Sunday excursion pushes. a lover of a lewd woman. Noun
Current amongst prison habitues. The Spanish value of the term is "crazy. An ex-convict.
has been modified to comSee "NUTS. A lives upon the earnings of a prostitute." but by
American criminal adoption
prehend just less than
that. But alas! lumps are sometimes impaled on the fence pickets by fastidious beggars who become offended at the failure of well meaning but non-intuitive philanthropists to invite them in to eat at the table."
MELT. A nickel. Noun
General circulation." but in which coins are the fraud consisting in treachery on the part of the confidence man who steers the victim with the professed intention of betraying his de facto confederate. A bunco game similar in nature to the "LEMON. To recognize. Example: "What's the tax for the scof fin's? Twenty-five meigs. to solve. Example: "The swag netted a melt of a thousand dollars.
MATCH." impossible. the cent. "You had better ring up (disguise) so he won't make you.
A man. etc. a five-cent piece.
a prospective victim."
MEIG.MAKE. Precious metals that may be melted in a crucible to make identity difficult or See "BREAK UP. Noun
Current amongst confidence men. Noun
General currency amongst cosmopolitans. A female of the open market who supExports a lover. Noun
MARK. but pennyweighters and other jewelry thieves particularly." Sometimes used to indicate the minimum basis of exchange medium. as a hundred meigs. to See "RAP. fifty meigs. See "JITNEY. Verb
General currency. to discern."
Current amongst loothunters. ample: "The stiff won't put up his back so long as he's
got a meal ticket. any gratituous source of subsistence." Example: acquire in an intellectual sense.
as a fake bank roll. system or personal character. to exercise by walking. The "MITT" is a confidence game of the same nature as the "LEMON" or the "MATCH.
General currency. ample: "Have you got a michael on your hip?"
Current amongst bottle drinkers. Also a card hand in any square game.
western circles. a deceptive appearance."
prison habitues the
signify handcuffs. A flask of liquor. To amble around aimlessly. Example: "We milled around town all day without turning a trick." involving a double cross. a hoax staged with sinister Example: "They started a michigan scrap and trimmed the sucker in the mix-up. See "MAC. Noun
Current chiefly amongst gamblers when the sense is a hand of cards.
intent. In general currency it means both the human hand and any scheme.
pimp. MEGIMP. See "DUKE.
A spectacular ruse. but of western origin.
Example: "If he spiels long enough he'll tip his mitt.'" "They framed a strong mitt for him and beat him for half a century." A "MITT JOINT" is a gambling house where
victims are "steered" for fleecing by "sure thing" hands.
General currency. Two or more confederates joined toUsed most frequently to gether for nefarious practices. designate a gang of pickpockets, a "GUN MOB."
Current amongst shoplifters. Cloth; a suit pattern. Example: "I know a derrick who'll peddle a mocha for a
General currency. See "JANE."
MONACRE, MONACKER, Noun
Current amongst yeggs and registering itinerants. A nickname; a professional cognomen. A corruption of the term "monogram," devised to meet the contingencies arising out of the oft requested information: "What's your handle?" Example: "You'll have to look in the cook book to find a fancy monacker, for all the ready ones are appropriated, judging by the register on this tank."
General currency. A man, used in the mildly indifferent See "GEEZER," "GAZABO," etc. sense of a stranger. Sometimes used to signify a "BOOB."
Current amongst beggars.
mendicant; an alms
To stroll; to move about See "MILL." in ten Example: "Mooch around the block and come back
Also, to beg.
MOOSH, MOUSH, Noun
General circulation. The human face; the physiog. See Probably from French Also the mouth. "KISSER." bouche (mouth). Probably derived from the French "mouchoir," a handkerchief, suggested by its utilization as a face mop. Example: "He's got a harp moosh," i. e.,
Used by morphine
Sulphate of morphia.
General currency. To walk away; to remove one's presence to another locality or spot. See "BLOW." "MOOCH,"
Current in cosmopolitan circles. obsessed by lewd passions.
"fairy;" a character
General currency. A lawyer; an advocate; a spokesman; a representative. Example: "The fall dough is to be used exclusively for a mouthpiece and nothing else."
Current amongst yeggs, safecrackers. A soap lip, a trench of soap or other plastic substance constructed to hold nitroglycerin in funnel formation until it seeps throuh a joint in a safe.
General usage. An umbrella. Example: "When you can't do anything else you can heel the hotels and depots for
mushes and turkeys."
Verb, Past Part.
General circulation. A scrutiny; an impertinent staring. See "GANDER," "RUBBER." Example: "The guinea on the end is giving you a necking through the glass." Also used as a verb, to "neck," to peer, to watch.
we were "We framed five strong and never got the nut off." 1. To surreptitiously extract something from the person.NICK.
amongst "flat joint" grafters. Noun
General currency. Example: "The grift was punk.fies daft.
. See "HICKS."
NINES. savoir faire. mentally deranged. the maximum extent." went on the nut for two fifty.." "That dony is made up to the nines."
current in all circles when the meaning is Used by grafters v/hose operations involve an
investment to signify an expense incurred in connection with a venture.
Example: "He's soused possible.
Current mainly amongst pickpockets. to purloin by stealth in personal presence of a victim. e. perspicacity." i. to "touch" in the criminal sense. brains. "He's got a noodle like a Santa
NUTS." Exin general.
human head. to the nines. Noun Commonly
mentality. though compreThe three shells. "If we can't beat the crap game we will play the
As an adjective and adverb nuts for the winners. artificially beautified. Example: "This lob couldn't nick a handful of air out of a flour barrel without scratching his mitt. Claus.
" Used also as a verb in the same sense.
Current amongst confidence men of the "green goods" A bunco scheme involving the use of crisp. Example: "When I give you the office. Adverb
Wise. new type. Noun
Current amongst "flat joint" men and circus grafters genUsed both as adjective and noun. by physical motion. popular sport gathering and other out-ofdoor grafting. County fair.
currency." proposition. A synonym for "NEXT. erally. The latter professes to recognize the principal in the bunco as an ex-convict and counterthe
feiter." Also used to indicate an acceptance. blow. legitimate bank notes which are purported to have been clandestinely issued by employees of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. A signal. a sign."
of the victim for all he possesses and is successfully carried out through the victim's fear induced by conscious-
ness of criminal complicity. a warning conveyed by facial expression.
"JAKE. as of a Example: "You're on for five hundred.OFFICE. by sound or other nonchalant prompting. Noun
General currency. street carnival. One or two of the notes are given victim who is then steered to a confederate who poses as a detective.
door." i. PETER.
To have swag concealed Current amongst shoplifters. "The safe in the hardware store
bed. H. to defame.PAD. the merchandise sold by hardware stores. Past Part. Noun
Current principally amongst forgers and utterers of false Example: "There's a bunch of paper hangers paper. Deduced: "Hardware": steel
Amongst gamblers and badgers
Verb." such as hydrate of chloral." "ON THE PAN" signifies a subject on the carpet for discussion. Example: the joint padded to the nines."
"He moped out
PAN. A hardware store. a amongst yeggs.
PAPER HANGER. Noun
Current amongst yeggs and prowlers.
PIG. a "knockout. Noun
PETE. a strong box."
"DOSS.. Example: "The pete in the pig is a single H. Example: "They panned everybody to a whisper. Noun
General circulation. a place to sleep. e. Verb
General currency. about the person in a neat. with a drop.
plastering the town from
to Izzard. compact order so as to enable
the thief to pass inspection. To scandalize. preferably the more valuable assortments." is a sleeping
As a noun
its use is also general in the sense of an arrest.
or a roulette wheel that can be stopped at any point desired by operating a secret trigger or spring. Example: "It's a pipe that he can't get away with it. Verb
pig iron." Derived from the term "lead pipe. an attempt. a platform.
Example: "Pipe the moll
with the rocks.
. selling merchandise from an eminence like an auctioneer. the same with the verb.
look." used by highwaymen. A certainty.
An effort. steel. a carriage or automobile." A "HIGH PITCH" is the term used by street
describe the operation of beguiling the public
from a soap box.
iron. because its effectual employment involves a moral certainty that the robber will relieve the victim of his valuables.
'He's gone out to
drop a swag of pig. Noun
General currency. to pinch. See "PLUNGE. a cinch."
PITCH. an essay.
Current amongst "flat joint" grafters.
") See "LEATHER. as in begging. (Poke a sack or bag. Noun
General usage. A plaster of paris cast used on arm or limb to simulate fracture.
on the streets with a specific
Current amongst yeggs and money-begging tramps. Example: "The whole tribe made a five buck
plunge to spring Jimmy from the canister.
PRATT." "JIGGER. See "BUG.
now comprehending diamonds
." Amongst noncriminal classes of the demi-monde the term is used to
indicate a strenuous endeavor. P. Used also by "HUSTLERS" to indicate the operations of a woman of the town who solicits on the streets.
To solicit Current amongst yeggs and street beggars."
P. A pocketbook. soliciting or in other reprehensible conduct.
originally. alms on the thoroughfares. "A pig in a poke. Noun
General circulation amongst pickpockets and looters.
See "FISH EYE. but
blow a safe. Example: "The dump we muffled the puff. Bread. a sneak.
criminal slang." a burglary." Also a sodomite youth a yegg term.
PUNK." Example: "Any heel gun can get a breech poke.any sense."
PUNCHING GUN. Present Part.
the explosion of was kipped." Example: "The whole layout is punk.
General currency. Noun
Verb. a survey in transit.
PUFF. As an adjective the term is synonymous with "CROW. Also used as a verb in the same senses. gang. but he can't get a can of water out of a water tank.
Example: "He can punch gun till the cows come home. An expeditionary investigation.
. but it takes an Al claw to grab a
General currency." "LAMOS.
"SOUP" in a safe."
tious display of sophistication. Notm
Current amongst yeggs.
Crowd. a saunter. a search of the person or of a place in the sense of "FRISK.
and depends for immunity from detection by a forcible pushing of the residue of the sum counted into the hand of the victim. counted in the hand of the crook is afterward held out by palming. Noun
Current amongst heavyweights mainly. A short changing operation whereby money. currency." "JANE. Noun
General currency. Noun
currency. A contraction of "RATTLER. a charge of guilt. street car.
See "SKIRT. Noun
Current amongst short changers and confidence men who employ the ruse of substitution."
PUSSY FOOT. Passenger train.
detective." Also an ignominious term. used
in the sense of
"CRAB. a desperate criminal who is prepared to hold up any interloper to prevent interference. accompanied by a suggestion or urge to pocket the money without recounting."
"MOLL. Noun and Verb
General usage. A highway robber.
yeggs and "dise" men. Noun
Current amongst heavyweights. a written permit. Noun
Current amongst dope fiends.
The reduction cure
Current amongst pickpockets. Noun
Current amongst crooked gamblers. The terms "rattler" and "John O'Brien" are used interchangeably by some criminals. Example: "You can't open the ballyhoo in this burg without a reader."
passenger train. therefore readable
A pack of marked from the obverse side."
are they working. with the mitt?
Example: "The only sensible way of getting
on the reduction. ExamNo.
RATTLER.RAT CRUSHER. To lift a pocket lining or an obstacle in the form of wearing apparel by methodical
their original significations are those given. Noun
Current amongst "flat joint" men and peddlers.
license. box-car burglar. Noun
currency. A formal a certificate.
Example: "The two of us
stalled the rattler
can on one ducat."
a double. Noun
General currency. Generally used in the imperative Example: "Reef the right kick for a tweezer. a Used in the latter sense because of pair of spectacles. Thus
from the term "DETECTIVE. following the corruption of the English "Robert" to "Bob" and "Bobby."TOOL"
. Used also as a verb.
fixed." Also used as a
verb. but in reverse of the usual custom. Also a synonym for squared. the wonderful change produced in one's aspect by the adGeneral currency.
in a gun mob. Derived from the process of nicknaming. Slip him a piece of soft. to fix." Example: "He's as right as a golden guinea.
dition of a pair of nose glasses or spectacles to the personal adornment. noncondemnatory. Example: "They'll
make him because
this function a pocket out without detection.
was suggested. A detective. it
be slowly turned inside in cases where the
too deep. a disguise. too tight or where extraordinary cau-
expedient in pocket picking. "SQUARE-SHOOTER. to bribe.
A similarity. Sympathetic in a criminal sense." "DICK" was suggested and hence "RICHARD" was derived.
General currency. Example: "Rod this guy right off the jump."
ROD. A revolver. as a "BANK ROLL.)
RODS. See "SMOKE WAGON. See "SQUAWK.RISER. Ex> ample: "He got an awful riser with that dick at his
pratt. to hold up at the point of a pistol. Noun
General circulation. money."
ROAR. A "ROD DUCAT" is a small board used as a seat by truck riders.
any mental or physical agent that moves to action." Also used as verb. a fright. Example: "He rolled a stiff for a bundle of scratch. To search the pockets of a sleeping person or of an intoxicated one." truck braces under a passenger coach.
"eye opener. make an
awful roar. Noun
(Here as verb. Noun
General usage." Used as a noun "ROLL" signifies a wad of money. running at right angles to the length of the car.
ROCKS." gink blows the touch he'll
ROLL." a scare.
protest.' "ROSCOE. Noun
The general circulation amongst "hop scotchers. Verb
Current amongst pickpockets. but seemingly unconscious manner. or to determine the identity of a person or object passed. This is known as "Routing the
usually the function of the best
a "gun mob. See "CANNON."
Current amongst pickpockets principally.EOSCOE. such as conventions."
ROUND. ample: "Roust!!" "Jostle the victim rudely. to squeeze a victim between two
pickpocket assistants in a
from the principal
extracts the victim's valuables from a given pocket. being a command and an instruction of itself. In the present tense the term is used in the imperative
mood. To jam against a victim in a violent manner. Nonn
A revolver. backward glance. surveying the rear trail to ascertain whether or not one is being followed."
ROUTE. Example: "Stall something to the ground and take a round at this coatmaker. etc. Noun
A turning of the head to take a currency." "GAT." Example: "Stash your roscoe before you come back to the kip."
." (trailer or taller. corrupted to tailor and thence
. Current amongst arms-carrying criminals. Verb
grift. To look up and of dates of large popular gatherings.
"When do we
Also used as a noun.
RUMBLE. an original thinker.
wit. who to be successful requires a quiclc wit and
SANTA CLAUS. Also used as a verb. a feed." "FALL. of slow
from the use of rum. Derived from "sapling. a faux pas. ample: "If you walk on the main stem with him you'll get a rumble."
SCOFF. to arouse suspicion. an inefficient. Noun
to beat. Derived by suggestion Whiskey.
a sap. to be discovered. Noun
General currency." In this sense the term implies an identification.
eat. clubs or sticks as weapons of offense." The latter meaning
form of the verb. Noun
General currency. A botch that precipitates discovery. Noun
SAPS. Derived from tlie experience ttiat "booze" incapacitates tlie mind of a croolt. Crutches." "TUMBLE. from "skey" (skee).
General usage. the termination of "whiskey. An ignoramus. an awkward situation brought about by fumSee "BLOOMER.
IN. To successfully negotiate. Rib it up." to "put one over. Paper currency. I can twist this
to laud. a writing."
SCENERIES. Examples: "He's got a bundle of scratch.SCORE. a prison guard. disguising. to praise. key. Example: times in the same joint by ringing up. a signature.
pickpockets and criminals who are make frequent repetitions of procedure to means.
a recommendation. Noun
General currency amongst literate criminals. A pair of spectacles or nose glasses."
. Example: "That bunch of screws you're carrying is a knock. Noun
General currency amongst prison habitues and prowlers." "STIFF.
." i." Also used as a verb." "He's peddling Example:
sceneries and hoops. a turnkey or jailor. See "GLIMS. a letter.. Noun
General currency." "RINGERS.
An indorsement. he's a P." See "JOHN HANCOCK." (Bank roll) "The only way you can get a knock-down (introduction) is with a scratch. Also used as a noun in the same sense." "You can get a letter in through the screw.
"With the proper send in Example: boob. Verb
acquire "We scored seven touch. to "make a
SCRATCH. e." "The difficult thing is to get his scratch. with an ulterior motive.
ample: shake down. Example. "If this dick nails you you'll have to stand a
SHILLIVER. A synonym
"SHILLIBER. an epior aides." tled for a two spot. SHILLIBER." "boostA supernumerary. thet applied to apprentice crooks. many times do you shoot a day?"
General currency. especially Jews." Example: posed. a secondary. a deprivation of Used also as a verb.
SHAKE DOWN. ex"He was shagged See "RAPPED. recognized.
General currency amongst outlaw criminals.
misdemeanor or statutory offense. Example: "He's See "LAGGED. Identified.SETTLED. Exbelongings. Noun
Current amongst cosmopolitan thieves."
A personal search."
ers." "LOSER. To inject mor"How phine or other drug with a syringe. on the first go. discovered. Past Part. A neophyte or inexperienced hand at the game. To "SHILL" is to act
in the capacity of a hired criminal. Noun
General currency. Past Part. Verb
Current amongst hypodermic habitues."
Current amongst criminals who employ "Stalls.
to present "This party can oneself at a meeting place. to deliver a vigorous blow."
SKIN. as well
. though used by all polished criminals to some extent.
to the jungles
shirt. Example: never be upon to show. Noun
Current chiefly amongst pickpockets.
SLAM. an insinuation. A watch chain."
"After catching the breaks we'll
for a half hour.
SKIRT. a rebuke. To keep an appointment. is called a "DANGLER."
our skins. Noun
General currency. Noun
General currency. Also used in the same sense as a verb as well as with the
of violence. A street car.SHOW.
SLANG. Derived from the limited extent of a street car ride compared with Exthe distances negotiable by railroad transportation. Noun
currency. A watch as an ear-ring. He'll stick you nine
times in ten. Verb
General currency. An Insult. Noun
a middle man in the disposition of contraband.
eliminate. a synonym for "CROW.
SLOUGHER. to throw without delay or fore"There isn't a mark of identification thought."
SMOKE WAGON." In the sense of hiding
General currency. Jewelry of any description."
to abandon. Verb
a revolver. A fence."
. a pawnbroker. Example: on his clothes. he's sloughed everything.SLOUGH."
have been sneezed
See apprehended. Noun
General currency." In this sense the term is pronounced "sluffed. to shut.
or getting rid of an object instantly the same word pronounced "slou." "PUNK. as a door."
Current amongst plunderbunders.
away." with the sound of "o" as in cow." "CRABBED.
of. but lately reduced in scope of meaning to include only the less valuable kinds of jewelry.
See "ROD. detained. "He wouldn't Example: he had kept away from that fluzie.
General currency." Example: "He's got a bale of slum for sloughings.
" As a verb the term is employed with the same meaning. Derived from the extremely flocculent nature of cocaine when pulverized. as of spoils." Example: "I fanned a gob of soft in the As an adjective "soft" means easy. Example: "Keep tabs and see that he don't go south with the dough. right jerve. Adverb
General circulation. Example: you drop that bottle of soup you'll grease the scenery. in which state cocaine is used as a snuff. A division.SNOW.
SOUTH. as money." Used as a verb it indicates to divide. be blown up. as valuables."
SOFT. "SCRATCH.." 1. Noun
"If Current amongst yeggs." Example: "The make was ways and then we split out."
SOUP. concealed. Nitroglycerine. Stored away.
comfortable. A "SNOW BIRD"
the customary designation of the cocaine habitue. See "END. Noun
General currency. as in the sense of "SPLIT OUT. Paper money. or to separate. e. Noun
Current amongst currency thieves and grafters who hanSee considerable sums of money." "BIT. See "UNDER COVER. Noun
Current chiefly amongst cocaine fiends."
goods" bunco. as an indignant repudiation of an injustice.
girl. Noun General currency. virtuous. hence the name "SPUD." Any confidence game in which currency plays a prominent part as a lure is aptly designated a variation of the "SPUD. Noun
lacking the courage or inclination to actually participate. Noun
Current amongst libertines mainly.SPUD. Example: "If you don't put up a squawk they'll trim you. a substitution ruse. as in the case of "KALE. Noun
The "green Current amongst confidence men chiefly. he's a square plug. for it is politic for even a crook to be a "square-shooter" provided it be also expedient.
derived by attribution."
. devised originally on the basis of counterfeit currency.
leery of him.
SQUAB. though not necessarily a moral. A protest. a reliable. A dependable
person. compact-keeping person. impeccable one. a harmless "Don't be individual in the view of crooks.
sympathy with the
timorous person element. Also used as a verb in the same sense."
SQUARE-SHOOTER. a vociferous demonstration." Also commonly used as a synonym for the
General currency." signifies that the person under discussion is a shifty agent. but I'm going to make a stab at it. See "BOOSTER.
. a license.
pretense." Also used as a verb. The colloquial vernacular. to conceal. Noun
General circulation. Also used as a noun in the sense of some"Stash the gun crackin.
contraction of the popular
A "MAIN SQUEEZE. to misrepresent with sinister intent. A piece of a letter." Also used by dope fiends for "JAB. Example: "I don't know how it will come out." Derived from the unpliable attribute of
paper. To hide. See "READER. there's thing cached."
STIFF. a colossal liar. an establishment or of any undertaking. Noun
STAB. a ticket.
got more stalls than a livery stable.
an equivocation." meaning
same as here
given. Example: a knocker in the push." Used as a verb in the same sense. to cease talking. The principal or manager of an stitution. An essay to accomplish a project.
Current amongst literate criminals chiefly. a permit. Verb
General currency. an See "PLUNGE."
to "plant.SQUEEZE. to prevaricate.
distracts the attention of a victim or mis-
leads him to regrettable action.
an easy boost for the
. sometimes it is employed as a synofor man. Example: Also used to designate a mean. See "GUY." "BIT."
Current amongst prison habitues." the latter being employed
in contradistinction to county jails.
trousers. A prison sentence." In general circles the term signifies a See look."
See "SAPS." "MARK. used as a verb as well as a noun. Nonn
Current amongst yeggs. Penitentiary. Noun
General currency amongst prison habitues.
workhouses and police Example: "He's back
in stir again."
STEM. Amongst opium smokers the term signifies an opium pipe.
pair of crutches." "NECK.home
"I haven't had a stiff from paper in general. See "GONGER. A steel drill.
contemptible person. a glance. See "LAG. for two months. a synonym for "BIG HOUSE." "ROUND.
STIR." It also is a snonym for "DRAG.
A fuse. A sponge or rag used and cleanse the face of an opium bowl.
SUEY POW. Noun
Current amongst opium smolters. Example: "He's got Current amongst yeggs.STRING. wrapped around the waist under the shirt. Noun
Current amongst "flat joint" grafters. Incidentally the aim is to relieve the inexpert of
ready cash. to "press" in the gamAmongst the plunderbund the
signifies the procuring of an additional loan on col-
lateral." i." Used as an adjective it specifies an unmitigated robbery.
Also used as a synonym for "BRIBE. Also used by the demi monde as an equivalent of the term
bler's sense. e. as a jackpot. and to strike it upon the rebound. yards of string around the midriff."
SURE THING. Verb
To augment. the purpose being to avoid the cone on the forward movement. A ball suspended from a gibbet by a chain or string and which is skillfully
at a wooden cone posited in the center of the swinging area. Noua
Current amongst confidence men and "flat joint" grafters A something-for-nothing proposition. See "HUNDRED PER CENT.
watch. "He's there forty ways from Revelation.
Current amongst prison habitues. trained. as he has everything to signify a substitute.
THERE. "The only way you can score with the weight
cased. Example: "Chop the wheeze. Adverb
General currency. Also used as a noun. Verb
Used as a noun
with the switch. wise.."
General currency. To eavesdrop.
"Be careful not
. we've got a tin-ear on our hip."
had the signification
Formerly the term
TIN EAR." "TURNIP." "SHELLS.
trail.''SWITCH. Informed. "He's doing penance in a tent. to exchange.
Used as a noun
to follow. Verb
TENT. to vary.
anything home on your
TAIL. artful. to listen impertinently.
on me for
the third touch this week.
To execute by hanging. See "DONY. See "SCORE. Noun
General currency amongst the licentious." "He tried to put the B." a cloak. A pickpocket proper. From Latin "Toga. Noun
Current amongst pickpockets." Also used as a verb in the same sense."
. tions are paid to a cashier." Example: "Any fink that tears into that tip without making a touch ought to be canned.
A ticket office. Noun
The place where
An overcoat used for a Current amongst pickpockets.
General currency. the member of a "gun mob" who does the "dipping. though used in a milder sense in general circles.TIP. Pickpockets. Noun
Current mainly amongst pickpockets.
"Carrying a rod
See "BUMP an invitation to
Derived by suggestion from the popular custom of stuffing a trunk full of personal belongings into a suit case."
TRIM. something easily or readily
accomplished." Used same sense. though curA too. a large traveling bag.
a watch. Verb
To fleece. for
as a verb in the
a ten-to-one jig on the first tumble. the term has a vague meaning of facileness. "You'll find the tribe at the gang. manner.
TUMBLE. to cheat. Noun
principally by yeggs and begging bums. Noun
pocket time piece."
General usage. See "RUMbad idea to work without fall
dough. A suit case. Example: "If you make a flash you're due to get trimmed. a class. as well as to signify acquir-
ing understanding suddenly."
. In noncriminal circles. amongst grafters who operate in cliques. Example: joint when you get there.TRIBE. to rob in any General currency. an exposure.
"BLOCK. as well as in criminal.
illiberal with wealth. to be deluded by a confidential snare."
Current amongst pickpockets."
running chances of being prowled.
Verb. Picking pockets in a crowd Exas passengers alight from street or railroad cars..
ample: "Out of six plays we twisted five ripe ones.
UNLOADING. Present Part. "Se can go underneath with a bigger bunch Example: of junk than any other moll I know. Current amongst confidence men.
small pocket-book with
. Past Part.
A term used to describe the most common method employed by female shoplifters of concealing stolen goods.
Protected financially by a reserve held See miserly. "We scored more pokes in unloading them than ample:
did in the breaks." Exvictim in the usual confidence game. Derived by suggestion from the confusion created in the understanding of a See "TRIM. carried between the limbs."
UNDER COVER. To be buncoed.TWEEZER.
Current amongst pickpockets."
Current amongst shoplifters. e.
WEIGHT. To extract any fraction from a roll of bills.." Example: dence. as the money from a pocketbook of miscellaneous valuables. for the first principle of self-defense in law is to make the other
out what he
know through some
else. to take the essential and leave the nonessential. Morphine. I have got my hand on a pocket book that is wedged too firmly in the pocket to be pulled out without the aid of distraction.
Current chiefly amongst pickpockets. "Unless you're nailed bang to rights don't welch. to steal a sum which will hardly be missed because of its proportion to the whole amount involved. though used to some extent by those who are familiar with currency. Examples: "Weed the poke and put it back. e. to protest."
WELCH. the "pwt." "He weeded a sawbuck to me under the table. Noun
Current amongst morphine habitues.
Penny weigh ting. "Weave! I've got a tight breech. "jostle ample: the victim. Example: "How many times a day are you shooting the white?"
WEED. to withdraw a partial sum from the principal."
To sway a victim rudely
"stalls" so that the
Current amongst pickpockets."
store jewelry thieves.
"claw" Exoperate without detection of finger contact. to peach.
To betray a professional confiall circles. See "ROAR.WEAVE." i.
WIPE." "TOOL. a forprincipally in the east. place of detention in Contraction from "WICKY small towns and villages." an old term for a small tent. used by the Indians. Noun
Current amongst pickpockets."
WICKY. Calaboose. Noun
General currency. Verb
General currency. Noun
General circulation. To vehemently protest." See "CLAW.
Current amongst shoplifters.
. UP. Example: "You'll have to go to the croker and get a stiff for the white line.WHITE
An ignorant person." Example: "You couldn't find a jitney with a search warrant in this
bunch of wops.
handkerchief. an impossible character. See "BOOB."
WOP. eigner. Noun
Current amongst yeggs and hoboes.
WIRE. The principal craftsman in a "gun mob." "JERVE. a bolt of "Can you swing under with a worm?"
these three latter terms are pure Chinese. Noun
General currency. Noun
Current amongst opium smokers.
YEN YEN. a thieving tramp. The residue of smoked opium. Used also as a metaphorical adjective to describe any slender object. as a lean person."
"Ask the yen hock guinea
SHE.YEGG. A desperate criminal of the least gregarious and social type. The slender steel needle used for preparing opium pills over a lamp flame. and were imported into criminal circles with the advent of addiction to the opium-smoking habit in the United States in the early seventies.
Current amongst opium smokers and other dope fiends. The recurrent relaxation from super exhilaration occasioned by habitual indulgence in any opiate.
Current amongst opium smokers.
glim. a black cindery substance which clings to the interior of an opium bowl after the opium has been melted by heat on the face of the bowl.
enables the police to locate a known criminal and to frequently determine the probable identity of an unknown who committed a crime from the more or less faithful description furnished by the victim. including the arts of
In short. it is understood only too well that personal knowledge in possession of the peace officers concerning the criminal propensities of a given individual is not sufficient warrant before a trial court to justify the imprisonment of the criminal. although the
For. that the peace officers to whom the public looks for protection can do but little more than apprehend criminals after they have
committed crimes. and. physical measurements and record of finger prints together with a biographical sketch of the suspect or convict. If the prevention of crime be possible then it rests as much with the
. furthermore. to all who have given more than a passing thought to the relation between the criminal classes and the law and order departments of our government.Suggestions for the Reduction
of Preventable Crimes
It must be apparent. the point sought to be brought out forcibly is that property holders are depending entirely too much upon the police for protection and too little upon themselves. the readiness of venal counsel to plead the cause of guilty persons for a consideration is another insurmountable obstacle
to the safeguarding of society against the depredations of the vicious classes who entertain such high respect for their free-
moral matters that they decline
that or the other well-known confidence Just as the fire department is but crook.
. arising out of the failure of the victim to recognize the fact that police are no more omniscient or omnipotent
hend the criminal or recover the
than other men. as in critical times of crime epidemic. case. even in times of ordinary or seeming quietude the total amount of losses suffered by the public and which are never accounted for satisfactorily makes
a staggering sum.prospective victims to prevent
does with the guardians
of peace. sneak or robber. or upon the threatened approach of criminal action.
There is one practical method for successfully combatting The local stealth and deceit. and its keynote is awareness. of course.
Many victims of the criminal classes prefer for one reason or another not to let their losses come to light. All losses are not discovered at once. so the police must often await the call for help from the thief's This is not always the victim before they may take action. whilst of the reported losses only a fraction are ever recovered. and this feeling Is often held unjustly. as well as apprised of the presence in the community of this. but labor under quite as rigid limitations as do the victims of the criminals. partially efficient in preventing fires and is necessarily devoted to their suppression after they have come into existence. department of safety has no bureau of publicity through whose functions the whole public may be educated in the latest schemes for obtaining money and valuables by false pretense. of those that are all are not reported to the police.
the potential as well as actual criminals
community may be rounded up and detained by operation of the vagrancy act. However. stealth and force. or in cases of exposed conspiracy. One reason
lack of confidence in the capability of the police to appreloss. seeing the latter number scarcely more than one to the thousand of our population and cannot be everywhere
therefore.It devolves. whose solution rests upon a due recognition of carelessnsess and ignorance as the chief
factors. or too hot or of too high speed.
looked the issue squarely in the face. Suppose this same principle were applied to every merchant in the protection of his goods against
owner. The average citizen disdains to inquire into the modes of the criminal element. Citizen is asleep at the switch regarding selfprotection until he suffers a loss. of violence. upon the public at operate as far as possible with the peace officers crime by the adoption of self-protective measures. both physical and mental. Non-preventable crimes occur impotence. but of self-education in the methods
of elimination of such glaring opportunities standing invitation to the morally weak and irresponsible to help themselves to whatever is not nailed down.
preventing not measures of crime and as constitute a
Again. in return for the ninety dollars per month which the citizen pays him. there is no danger that the principle will be applied except by the Supreme Court of your personal conscience after you have
The United States Supreme Court has held that it devolves upon a plaintiff to secure himself against fraud through altered bank checks by the personal use of the most approved devices which insure protection. Mr. or he may have to suffer a great many losses before he awakens to the realization that he as well as the policeman has a certain part to play in the maintenance of public security. it is so sordid! Besides. he hires the policeman to do this dirty work for him. It is the policeman's business to rake in the muck and to get himself slaughtered. if need be.
his person. to every individual who to every householder who carelessly leaves vulnerable points to the watchfulness of Providence. sewed up in a bag. to the credulous people who fall easy victims to the wiles of confidence men of a hundred schemes? Of course. Then you may come to the reduction of preventable crimes.
or if you were prepicked it is because of your ignorance. to fall by the wayside and thenceforth for an indefinite season be compelled to cast in their lot with the home talent and ply their Every cosmopolitan law trades in the principal coast cities. They will operate upon the the careless and the unprotected.
and order bureau
will delegate representatives to the big celewith local officials in identifying and
apprehending pedigreed malefactors. whilst a percentage of the whole number may be expected. is the saying.
. You wouldn't dare put your hand into a lion's mouth because you are afraid he will bite it. "Eternal vigilance is of security. You
know a pickpocket
put his hand in your pocket and yet to carry valuables in accessible
depositories." Very little stealing occurs in well-
to the point. and reasonably. will probably be fortunate enough to get back to their native habitat laden with the spoils of adventure. "Three meals missed makes a posand six meals missed makes a possible murderer. however.
There's an old saying. still.
ing year the vicious will prosper. Their made up mainly of the cleverest members of their crafts. a liberal estimate of the ratio of arrests to crimes will probably be one in every Whilst the virtuous hold lawful carnival during the comten. more. and as it will cost them a considerable outlay to come it is a foregone conclusion that they will come with a keener view to business than to pleasure. then your loss Is to viously aware of the pickpockets' methods be ascribed to carelessness. A few of them will inevitably fall into the clutches of the law.
The grand combination of popular attractions staged in all the cities of the Pacific Coast for the year 1915 will act as a almost powerful magnet to draw thither numerous criminals of every profession for the purpose of thriving upon the ignorant.
and the natives with equal avidity and daring.
by removing as much of temptation from the path of the criminally inclined as is found to be practical and consistent with general commerce and the open enjoyment of honestly
acquired wealth. There are two places from which a thief will not steal:
nothing attainable and where
of the attainable are as wise and ready in self-defense as the thief himself.
regard consider that twenty years and less ago over this land. or diamond and jewelry thieves. for the simple but signal reason
This was not that methods of awareness are in vogue there.
not be frightened. were as easy prey to the pennyweighters. For. with very rare exceptions. The eternal struggle to attain goods is not more
strenuous than the battle to hold them. the duty of every citizen to pay heed to timely warning on the subject of preventable crime not alone that he may protect himself but likewise contribute to the protection of the weaker
the purpose to frighten even the timid.
nevertheless. hard facts. with the unavoidable exceptions of crimes by superior force or internal disloyalty. always so. having been "bumped" and "twisted" and "turned" and "flimmed" and "gyped" times innumerable before they learned the value of precaution. self-defense. dispossession is such an easy achievement with one professional despoiler in every thousand of our population that it behooves everyone in whose education this fundamental element of self-protection has been too sadly neglected to polish up his wit now and then by taking stock
what the bold criminal may do
of seizing opporit
. for they had to learn awareness in the school of
is. as the burial mounds or "huacas" of the Incas with
ornaments and bullion were to Such was the lack of selfprotection in the system of display employed by the jewelers in the recent past that anyone with the desire and temerity
their fabulous treasure in gold Pizzaro and his free hooters.houses. whilst possession is nine points of the law.
all this loose carelessness was wiped out. until today it is a very infrequent occurrence for a capably managed jewelry store to suffer except by robbery through violence or by disloyalty of And jewelers themselves are not the sole beneemployees. When confronted with this truth
. precision and order in display and necessary changes in fixtures were adopted.could help himself out of trays in which gold ornamented with diamonds and other precious stones was heaped indiscriminately
in such wise as to render detection of loss out of the question
on the instant. but
bank paper has asby the operaof the
The fraudulent issuance and sumed enormous proportions
in recent years.
What they have done for jewelers the banks. but also to widespread community loss by the activities of the successful thieves outside the department store. aided by the Inventive genius of the Todds and the Burns Detective Agency.
and valuable merchandise is contributing to the temptation of first-timers and to the required opportunities of the professional thief and the kleptomaniac. Through the organized efforts of the jewelers and opticians. they have almost totally denied to the sneak thief the opportunity.
which must eventually be charged off to adsome other item of overhead costs. ficiaries of this new order of self protection. or temptation. are doing for savings fund and commercial bank depositors.
soon be entirely cut
The evolution of the small merchandising business into great department stores has proved another fruitful source for both the early schooling and continued support of petty and grand sneak thieves by the irrepressible display of unprotected The eagerness to sell lays the managers open not only 5?oods. of replenishing a depleted subsistence fund. In proportionate measure nearly every storekeeper who openly displays small or compact
to personal loss. a system of surveillance and nation-wide reports on criminal developments were carried out methodically. by means of their trade review.
confidence men. Hence the of lying. Of these the burglar and the robber who uses weapons as an aide are the most difficult to deal with. utterers of false paper. sneak thieves. Their suppression is almost
. a liar will deceive. say annual ones. merchandise thieves. mendacity in word or action or both. is a variable in every personality at different times." unmindful of the fact thieves in general some are born so. You may deny this with as much vehemence as you care to expend in protest against the aspersion of perfectly honest people. reaches the maximum inAnd with avarice goes the power tensity it becomes avarice.
Admitting that only a small proportion of crimes against property are preventable (and in these suggestions for the reduction of preventable crime only the crimes against property are being given consideration). "We set our goods people to buy. whilst every son of Adam is a potential thief. some become so
out for that or
human mind you must pause when you
above truth. not to steal. hope. and when It.
storekeepers shrug their shoulders as though they are the horns of a dilemma and say. when we come to deal in aggregate losses.by surrounding circumstances. But to get back to the subject of
preventable crimes. For. whatever proportion may be
prevented. forgers. but if you know the hidden workings of the
reflect that hope. Of the dozen unorganized guilds of professional criminals enumerated in the introduction to the Vocabulary the most to be feared and guarded against are burglars. manifestation of larceny is but a question of congenital talent or combination of talents. pickpockets and thieves who threaten violence. the well spring of ambition. During this unusually active year the total losses to be inflicted upon the fixed and floating population will undoubtedly run into five and maybe six figures. should be recognized as a definite gain. by the timely dissemination of helpful information upon this subject. and larceny is but a And once capable of lying the particular degree of deceit.
and when the fancy customer are not satisfied with an accumulation of goods which is assuming proportions too difficult to inventory in a spontaneous summary they.
But of sneak stealing in stores much relief may be had by a sane regard for safety in display. they should be kept locked. No goods should be shown any customer without mental inventory of the number of separate displays.
What was said about banks. or at least a part
. jewelry and specialty merchandise dealers applies with equal pertinence to householders and others who offer promising occasions for the application Ordinary locks offer little protection of the burglar's skill. The same with all end show-cases. yet the greater secretion of valuables may prove an effective remedy against casual loss. the best advice available for protection against this sort of loss may be laughed to scorn by the clandestine act of a desperate or determined criminal. yet their partial defeat may be confidently hoped for by the increased watchfulness of the peace officers. Still.impossible. In department store prudence these same observations hold good. against the burglar's master keys. so that accurate
constantly kept of them. neither on top of counters and show-cases nor in end show-cases nor in unprotected windows. Valuables should not be placed within reach of every ostensible patron. jimmy and other tools of forcible or surreptitious entry. and what is more important every clerk should be trained as thoroughly in the protection of the goods submitted to his care as he is in the execution of common exchange formalities. by reaching across. aided by the greater prudence of householders and prospective vic-
tims in general. in front. If show-cases are so narrow as to admit of access from the outside. The merchant who violates these modern canons of commercial prudence not only assumes personal risk but he abets the thief and is a
source of danger to others. where free passage to their rears may be had.
should be held out as an extra inducement to clerks to prevent thefts. disrespectful. of the number assumes the attitude of purchaser whilst the seemingly indifferent companion
or companions plot to secrete goods.
When store sneaks operate in pairs or threes one. he feels that business can dispense with the urbane conventions.
incentive. as the veriest tyro of either sex and any age possessed of inordinate desire could easily help him or herself whilst the clerk's back is turned. The secret of the successful store thief consists in his ability to obtain a confusion of displays and then
of them. and he avoids possible loss from this source of ever-present danger.
over-polite clerk or shop-keeper may at first object that he cannot afford to be discourteous.
of course. should be removed. It is generally considered the duty of a floor or department manager to keep a lookout for such seemingly unoccupied companions of purchasers. it might prove fatal once in a hundred times to leave a stranger in undisputed possession of a tray of valuables.Goods should not be left upon display while the clerk withdraws his presence in search of other samples. in business it counts
for far less than safety. Loss
sustained through internal peculations
is. for even though he has them so arranged in geometrical formation as to detect an abstraction he is aware that a substitution might be made in the flash of an eye and thus wipe out the profits accruing from the previous ninety-nine customers who inspected his goods. suspicious. No. a constant
Observe the presence of mind of your jeweler when he He knows it necessary to go in search of other displays. gingThis erly or risk wounding the susceptibilities of a patron. or in the latter case perhaps two.
send the clerk for an article which
distance. yet it would be a profitable investment of time and pains to instruct each
and every clerk
in the simple
rules of protection. such as a bonus or promotion.
objection would have greater weight in a drawing room or at some function where politeness is on trial.
millinery and dress trimmings. leather goods.
In smaller establishments these should be carefully carried out. suit cases
or In packages wrapped in paper imported into the store by the clerk's confederate. boxes. Dangerous or professional store thieves thrive not on trifling articles. the chief losses by dishonest employees are those of such small
may be hidden on the person. Such goods should be removed as far as possible from exits. express offices. Yet if the few previous suggestions are
observed no goods may be extracted from a special display. not so
losses suffered by business men of every from the operations of forgers and utterers of false paper could be materially lessened if not wholly stamped out were obliging business men to adopt the commonest measure in vogue in the telegraph offices. such cases do not come up frequently and are very difficult of avoidance except by means of daily or weekly inventories and an exhaustive knowledge of the employee's previous character and associates. wearing apparel.annoyance. package. umbrellas unfurled and loose or heavy wraps. but upon the more valuable lines of merchandise. There still remains the avenue of secret transfer of the store's property to friends of the clerks who may carry the same away in bags.
stores should be warned to scrutinize.
much on account
of actualities as on account
well-regulated establishments where no employee may enter the display rooms with hat. which is an
almost superhuman problem. not strangers carrying packages of bulk. furs. However. though the fixed and open displays do afford opportunities for the use of these sneak thief aides. postoffices and banks throughout the country that of absolutely refusing to
. whether worn or carried on the arm. as these all afford means for secreting goods. traveling bags. articles
silk manufacture. jewelry. and can therefore carry none away. coat or wrap. such as silks in bolts. art works.
sum of money in somebody's else scheme don't be too proud or stubborn to seek the advice of a man of large affairs and unquestioned integrity your banker. Whoever thoughtlessly leaves his check book in accessible places incurs the jeopardy of community and
personal loss. Whoever writes a check or draft or signs a note or other negotiable instrument unrecorded without procash
same by the most modern methods
laying himself liable as well as contributing to the loss of other individuals. of course. which may be likened to a mule's kick. enforcement of this principle might sacrifice trade for a time but it would save loss and eventually when all reputable business houses by mutual agreement honor the observance the obtaining of money by false pretenses with paper as collateral would be impossible. This will be especially difficult to avoid if your cupidity be aroused. that satirical old saying "There's a
new sucker born every minute"
true that the task of
to the folly of entertaining get-rich-schemes
beyond the power of even a wise man. You simply pay so much money for so little experience. you be burdened with such excess emotional baggage. provided. not being worth anything when acquired. If you make wagers with strangers or casual acquaintances you are a candidate for the mourner's bench. take it easy." Take your time.
. and sometimes all your regrets and the best efforts of the police are of no avail to bring back a single dollar of your loss. or your legal adviser. besides it will bear full If you are considering the investment of any investigation. seeing that "paper hangers" are vigilant in the search for these. Anyway. The shortest and safest rule for self protection against misrepresentation is "Don't do it in a hurry. take it easy and don't swallow the hook at one gulp. for instance. A locked desk drawer is not sufficient protection as a "jimmy" will pry open any furniture lock. if the proposition is good it will keep for a day or so. If you have no relations with either of these professions consult your friend.The paper of any variety for unidentified strangers. As for confidence men.
and the amateurs operate on
Avoid crowds if you carry money on your person and do aot be too eager in the press when boarding or alighting from street cars. Against this proposal will be offered the objection that too many are already familiar with criminal methods. for there are ten amateur pickpockets. It may be your house rent.
nor feel of it every once in a while to see If it Is stUi there. just where no man may be able to inform you. especially at night or In crowded places. or your entire savings. the fact of the matter is that too few are prepared by foreknowl-
. though. or your employer's or your friend's money that you are carrying. when leaving a theatre or other public gathering. For it Is In these places that they do it. The fairs and carnivals on the Pacific Coast in 1915 will call many of these gentry from the East. Women who carry money In a hand purse or bag on the street.
Greater familiarity with the ways of criminals could be acquired If the department of public safety were provided with the means for organizing and maintaining a publicity bureau whose operatives should be charged with the duties of
developing measures for preventing crime by circulating all the Information available upon the subject. a pickpocket observe your concern Is solicitous and shortly cause you to learn that it Is not there but elsewhere. run an even greater risk of loss than do men. maybe a score. or nearer In yet if possible. On the contrary. to every one who by practice has acquired the skill necessary to extract valuables from the
person.As for pickpockets know these things: If you must carry money on your person carry it in an inside vest pocket. If you observe these suggestions the only opportunity the pickpocket will find to relieve you of valuables will be when you are intoxicated or hypnotized. or when seeking a vantage point at a fire or other unusual spectacle. And don't keep your hand on it. but If you must carry money don't exhibit it nor get In a jamb.
opening a hand bag and extracting a purse therefrom in a jamb.
When a man's principles and actions square with each other you are impotent to convince him of his wrongness and your rightness. cannot awaken a higher feeling of responsibility in the convict how can you
to eradicate his evil by hiding it from your sight. And he will not be improved until you demand that he shall. and if punishment.edge of the proper means for defeating the propagation of
criminal actions. linquent ones are as much the nation's wards as are the hunWhile a dred-odd thousand dependent Indians or the insane. by This accusation against consigning him to a living limbo? society's present methods could not be made without fear of refutation if it could be shown that the ratio of criminals to population has diminished in the past fifty years. which points out the fact that there is a palpable flaw in the system of apprehending.
great step in advance of old customs has been taken by the adoption of the indeterminate sentence law. convicting and imprisoning criminals at such tremendous exA sincerer effort must be made to lift up the delinpense.
The present system maintained by each community leans more toward a cleansing of the locality of criminals by "floating" them off to another locality than it does toward either These deprevention or permanent suppression of criminals.
. quent if lasting good is to come from our peace measures within the house. the punishment of confinement. But it has increased rather than diminished. so long as the individual who has repeatedly demonstrated his propensities for moral obliquity is merely restrained and not improved both
physically and intellectually just that long will he continue to be a thorn in the side of law-abiding society.
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