Re: RARA-AVIS: Johnson-brothers?

joseph (
Wed, 21 Jan 1998 00:17:53 -0800 >In a message dated 1/20/98 12:43:45 PM Pacific Standard Time,
>> When the Op is questioning Captain Noonan about the men killed in the
>> shootout between Reno Starkey and Lew Yard's men, Noonan tells him, "[It
>> was] A pair of Johnson-brothers named Blackie Whalen and Put Collings that
>> only got out on bail around five yesterday, and Dutch Jake Wahl, a
>> guerilla." (It's p. 96 in the collected novels.)
>> Does anyone have any idea what "Johnson-brothers" means in this context?
>> If so, any idea about the derivation of it?
>Since their names aren't Johnson and they don't appear to be brothers, my
>guess is that he's referring to the pair as "johnsons", i.e. "pricks". Just
>a guess.
According to my New Dictionary of American Slang: the second entry for
Johnson is (noun) underworld, A hobo; drifter = bum.

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