RARA-AVIS: cannons

From: Chris Bahn ( Chris_Bahn@citysearch.com)
Date: 07 Jul 2000

Last night I rented Sam Fuller's excellent "Pickup on South Street," which is about a pickpocket who accidentally steals microfilm intended for some Communist spies. First I just wanted to recommend the movie to any of you who haven't seen it, it's tough as nails and smartly done. But I also wanted to ask about a slang term used by pretty much every character in the film --
"cannon," meaning a pickpocket. Anyone know where this term came from, or what its etymology is?

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