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Monthly Archives: December 2009

The American Malefactor’s Dictionary: ambush

ambush – fraudulent weights and measures used by grocers, coal-dealers, etc. The term is a pun on the formal definition of the word: to lie in wait (lying weight). Sources: Barrère, Albert and Charles G. Leland. A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon, and Cant. [London]: The Ballantyne Press, 1889. Partridge, Eric. A Dictionary of the Underworld. […]

Early American Crimes: Burglary, Part III

Note: This post continues Early American Crimes: Burglary, Part II. Outside of murder, burglary and robbery were considered the most egregious crimes in England and colonial America. Since burglars and robbers threaten the well-being and lives of victims while taking their property, they are generally regarded as worse than thieves, who try to steal without […]