Friday, April 08, 2011

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Damn Computers

A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
Emo Philips

96th St Station

96th St Station by jankor
96th St Station, a photo by jankor on Flickr.

Uptown Blues


Steerer by jankor
Steerer, a photo by jankor on Flickr.

More New York lingo, this time crook speak!

More New York lingo, this time quoted from the peculiar Almanac for New Yorkers, 1939 (p. 123), edited by the Federal Writer's Project:

Underworld Lingo

When crooks talk out of the corners of their mouths the words issuing there from might puzzle or frighten a good citizen. For the underworld speaks a sort of code lingo of its own intended only for use by the boys in the family. The words are vigorous, highly descriptive, often contemptuous. "Cow-simple" means to be in love. A "tomato can" is a policeman's badge. However, up-and-coming criminals must learn the lingo the hard way, for crime syndicates are not known to distribute textbooks on the subject. Here are a few pointers:

Alvin: a rustic; a hick; an out-of town visitor
Boob: a jail
Booster: a shoplifter
Cannon: a pickpocket
Case the joint: to inspect the scene of a proposed crime
Chop suey: shut up
Cow-simple: girl crazy
Cush: a wallet
Ding: to beg on the main street
Dummy racket: beggar pretending that he is deaf and dumb
Finger: a pickpocket
Five specker: a five-year term in prison
Gay cat: a tramp who works occasionally
Glue: to take, steal
He's away: he's in prison
Jiggers: shut up, look out, be careful
Johnson: a tramp
Junk: dope
Lamister: fugitive, escaped convict
Mickey: a bottle
Mope: walk
Mug: cop, detective
Prowler: a house burglar
Riffler: a beggar
Roscoe: a gun
Rumbled: detected while committing a crime
Screw: a prison guard
Shiv: a knife
Slang: watch chain
Steerer: crook who introduces victims to a gang
Super: a watch
Tomato can: policeman's badge
Topped: executed via the chair or gallows
Twist: a girl
White Line: alcohol

Example: "The steerer got an alvin. We took his super and cush-some mugs rumbled us, flashed the tomato cans, and now we're in the boob with a five specker."

See also my quotes of New York lingo from the 1938 issue of the Almanac in the picture Whatchawaidinfoar?