Re[2]: RARA-AVIS: Wise Guy origins?
05 Feb 99 18:21:00 -0500 --UNS_gsauns2_3052832349
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Re Joseph's comments below:

"I believe that the latest use of the term wise guy is to tell others that
this guy is in the know about the mafia, a "wise" guy. Possibly a made man
or on his way. It was popularized by several gangster movies. I also
believe it became more well known via the TV series 'Wiseguy.'"

The first time I ever read "wise guy" as a euphemism for an organized
crime figure was in William Caunitz's debut novel *One Police Plaza*. The
book "Wise Guys*, from which *Good Fellas* derived, followed soon after.

The late Bill Roemer, alegendary federal cop who spent a two decades
fighting the Chicago mob, said in his autobiography *Man Against the Mob*
that "wise guy" was an Eastern Seaboard expression, equivalent to the term
"made man" or "made guy" which was more common in the Windy City and the
rest of the Midwest. Of course, that still doesn't explain the
derivation. - Jim Doherty

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