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Last Updated: Jan 8th, 2011 - 16:45:13 

Language Arts  

Excerpt From The Secret Language of Crime: The Rogue's Lexicon
By Sarah Lane
Aug 25, 2006, 10:29 PST

Excerpt from The Secret Language of Crime: The Rogue’s Lexicon

Compiled by former New York City Police Chief, George Matsell, 1859

LESSON PLAN #1 - Gangs of New York Linguistics Lesson Plan

Sample of slang definitions:

Thieves who place a hook on the end of a stick, with which they steal

AUTUMN DIVERS: Pickpockets who work in churches

BLUDGET: A female theif who lures her victims into dark alleys to rob them


CRUSHER: Policeman

DANCING: Sneaking upstairs to commit a larceny

GANDER: A married man not living at home with his wife

GROANERS: Theives who attend charity sermons and then rob the congregation

HIGH TIDE: A lot of money

LACED MUTTON: A common woman

PARTIAL: Putting one’s hand in another man’s pocket

POLISHER: A man in prison

QUEEN DICK: It never happened

ROUGHS: Men ready to fight in any way or shape

SAND: Nerve, guts

STAG: One who has turned State’s evidence

STAR-GAZER: Prostitute or streetwalker

STEPPING KEN: A dance house

SWAG: Plunder


The Secret Language of Crime
Purchase this book from for $12.95 and get free shipping for orders over $25.

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