True Crime Books by Jason Lucky Morrow

Welcome to HistoricalCrimeDetective.com [Est. 2013], where you will discover forgotten crimes and criminals lost to history. This blog is the official website for true crime writer Jason Lucky Morrow, author of four books including the popular series: Famous Crimes the World Forgot, Volume I and Volume II. Please follow us on Facebook, for updates. Contact me here for questions or comments.


Criminal Slang Dictionary for 1890 to 1919
890 Words & Phrases used by Criminals

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890 Words & Phrases used by Criminals


In 1910, if someone said they were “blowing the peter,” — it’s not what you’re thinking. From approximately 1890 to 1919, that term meant they were going to the door off a safe to rob it, and the person doing it was called “a yeggman,” slang for safe robber.

If someone said they wanted to buy some “happy dust,” it meant that he or she wanted to purchase some cocaine.

An inmate, pig, trader, hustler, and moll were all slang terms for prostitute. If she was “on the turf,” it meant she was a streetwalker. If “she got jugged by a peeler, and thrown in the Irish club house,” it was slang for “she got arrested by an Irish cop and was taken to jail.”

“Jail arithmetic” was a slang term for ‘cooking the books’ by an accountant, bookkeeper, or bank employee who was embezzling, and was falsifying records in the company’s ledger . In other words, his bogus arithmetic would get him sent to jail.

They also had “rappers” back then, but it was slang for a civilian who informs to police, or files a complaint with law enforcement.

Just completed and now posted on HCD is the Criminal Slang Dictionary of 890 words and phrases used by underworld figures from 1890 to 1919 (approximately). Check it out for yourself and don’t get nipped tanking the white mule while driving your sneeze wagon.

Criminal Slang Dictionary of Words & Phrases
in use from 1890 to 1919

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