Talk the Talk: An A – Z Guide to Crime Speak Part 2

When you hear of cops walking the “beat” does it conjure images of uniformed officers breaking out into Fred Astaire tap routines? When you read about somebody being a “fence”, do you confusedly imagine him standing deadly still upright alongside your pumpkins and petunias? Here is Part 2 of your A-Z Guide to Crime Speak, so, finally, you’ll be able to talk the talk and walk the walk of crime, mystery and suspense.

Felony: crime or treachery.

Fence: person who receives stolen property (usually art or antiquities) either to use, or to turn around and sell.

Filicide: the act of killing one’s own child.

Flush: “boob” or “chump” (see Part 1) with lots of money.

Forensic Detective: criminal investigator who applies scientific knowledge and methodology to legal and criminal matters and investigations.

Forgery: a false or altered document, based on a genuine one, intended for fraudulent use.

Fratricide: the act of killing one’s brother.

Freebasing: the act of smoking a drug.

Front Money: money put up to fund a con.

Gaff: the system a swindler uses to con somebody.

Gang-Bangers: members of (frequently violent) street gangs.

Gangbuster: an officer or law-enforcement agent involved in breaking up gangs.

Gatt or a Roscoe: a firearm.

Going Down: happening at this moment.

Golden Triangle: part of Asia (includes Burma, Vietnam and Thailand) that is one of the two opium-producing areas on the continent.

Grand (also called a G-note): a thousand dollars.

Gray Market Vehicle: vehicle manufactured outside of, and not intended for export into, the United States as it does not meet the US emissions and safety requirements.

Haul (also known as loot, gravy, cut, doe and swag): profit made from a con.

Hit: matching information is found.

Homicide: unlawful killing of another human being.

Homicide-Suicide: unlawful killing of another human being followed by the killing of oneself.

Hook: to arrest or seize a car.

Hook Up: to arrest by using handcuffs.

Human Trafficking: the displacement of people with the intention of exploiting them.

Incendiary Material: used to set fire to materials by burning with a very hot flame.

Infanticide: the act of killing a child under the age of 1 year.

Infraction: only a minor violation of the law (usually only results in a fine).

Interpol: an international intelligence agency enabling various intelligence agencies to collaborate.

Jimmie: device made from spring steel that is used pick the lock of a car.

Joint: Marijuana cigarette; prison.

Kidnapping: the act of stealing people, often children.

Larceny: the theft of another’s property. The prefixes grand or petit refer to the value of the stolen goods.

Laundering: the process of concealing money – “dirty” money is procured through criminal means, whereas “clean” money has been laundered so that it appears legitimate.

Lawyer Up: to request the services of an attorney.

Loaded or Spun: under the influence of a narcotic.

Loan Shark: moneylender charging high interest, usually under illegal conditions.

Mag / Magazine: portion of the firearm containing ammunition.

Mahaska / Mahaskie / Mohaskie: concealed firearm.

Make the Bucket: to get arrested.

Manslaughter: the act of killing another human being without malicious intent. Voluntary manslaughter refers to murders that happen in the heat of passion, while involuntary manslaughter is the result of an accident.

Matricide: the act of killing one’s mother.

Medical Examiner: physician whose duty it is to ascertain cause of death where unusual or suspicious circumstances are suspected.

Miranda: warning of constitutional right to remain silent and be legally represented.

Modus Operandi: term referring to the habits and behavioural peculiarities of a criminal.

Mups: missing persons database.

Murder: the intentional, pre-meditated killing of another human being.

Near Contact Wound: gunshot wound where the muzzle of the gun has been placed near, but not touching the skin.

Nickel: refers to 5 of something, such as $5 worth of narcotics, or 5 years in jail.

Ninja Rocks: cube-shaped piece of porcelain thrown at, and used to shatter glass with little or no sound.

One Spot: one-dollar bill.

Oz: ounce of narcotics

See also: Talk the Talk: An A – Z Guide to Crime Speak Part 1

See also: Talk the Talk: An A – Z Guide to Crime Speak Part 3

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Tanya is a freelance writer, reviewer and blogger with a background in comparative literature. When she is not reading fabulous new books or writing about them, you can find her horse riding or walking her dogs in the beautiful Waitakere ranges. Visit Tanya at livingwritingreading.com.

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