RARA-AVIS: word usage

Charles Shafer (cshafer@chipsnet.com)
Sun, 12 Sep 1999 07:33:17 -0500

From: Takhoman@aol.com Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: RE: A Window Washer Has anyone on this list come across the term "window washer" in referrence to a position held by anyone working for a government agency, ie: FBI or CIA, etc.? Always lurking, Paul Malone

I've never heard of that one, Paul. But it's interesting how nicknames crop up. For instance, Perp for Perpetrator. I was a cop in Chicago for 28 years and never once heard that used. I suspect it's a NYPD usage. We said wrongdoer, or bad guy. Another one is "Collar" for an arrest. Never heard that either. We called it a "Pinch." Some are so colorful you have to laugh, like in the French Connection when Gene Hackman asked some criminal, "Have you picked your toes in Pokipsee?"
(Sorry for the spelling) I mean, I about fell over laughing, yet right away knew he was asking if the man had done time. By the way, is there a jail in Pokipsee? And talk about word usages for jails. Like, "Going up the river" in NY, while in Chicago it's "Getting sent to the the farm." I remember when I was a rookie, and was in on an arrest of a well-known bad guy, who said, "Well, back at the Home Away From Home." That, to me, was as good as it gets in word usage. In Chicago we called the detective division, "The D." Cops in uniform were
"In the Blue." I can go on and on, and looking above I guess I already have. So, I'll shut up, and give somebody else an opportunity to add a tidbit. Really, though, don't you think such phrases make a book that much more interesting, and fun to read?


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