Monday, October 01, 2012

Monday Mystery- Con Artist Lingo

When writing any mystery, thriller, or suspense there have to be people in the story who could be the person of interest. The thief, the murderer, the kidnapper. So to throw the reader off the writer can throw in patsies or con artists into the mix to have the reader thinking they have found or figured out the suspect.

Below is a list of con artist language. Con artists are flamboyant, extraverted and expert salesmen.

Big Con- A confidence game or trick, usually with an elaborate set up, that nets the swindler big money.
Boob - A victim or dupe.
Booster - A shoplifter, also an assistant to the operator of a con game.
Cannon - A pickpocket.
Capper - An outside man who works for a gambler, one who brings in the suckers.
Century - A one hundred dollar bill also called a C-note.
Check Kiting - Passing  check whose amount has been fraudulently raised. A check bearing a forged signature or check without fund to cover it.
Chump - A sucker
Clip Artist - A swindler
Cold Deck - A deck of cards dishonestly introduced into a game.
Flush - Describes a sucker who has plenty of money.
Front Money - Money put up to lead a sucker into a swindle.
Gaff - Any method, device or system used by a swindler to trick a sucker.
Grand - A thousand dollars or G-note
Gyp Artist - A swindler
Haul - The swindler's take or profit, also called loop, gravy, cut, doe, or swag.
Hooked - To be swindled
Laying Paper - Passing worthless checks
Layout - The swindler's paraphernalia, also called the set up.
Mark - A prospective or actual victim of a confidence game.
Nut  -The sum total of expenses
One Spot - A one dollar bill
Paper Hanger - A bad check passer.
Patsy - A dupe or victim of a swindle
Phoney - Counterfeit money or a package of paper with good bills on the outside.
Pigeon - The dupe or victim of a confidence game
Poke - A pocketbook or wallet
Rap - a complaint or criminal charge
Salesman - A swindler's advance man who makes the first contact with the mark.
Score - To pull off a swindle and then the proceeds from the swindle.
Shill - A swindler's assistant who poses as one of the crowd, He may be permitted to win a short card game to facilitate bringing in victims.
Short Con - A confidence game in which little preparation is needed and small stakes are involved.
Spieler - The person who does most of the taking in a con game.
Steerer - A confidence operator who fist approaches the intended victim. Also called the salesman.
Sucker - From the swindler's standpoint any person not engaged in some swindling activity. Also called the fall guy, sap, pigeon, dupe, gull, easy mark, boob, chump, egg, patsy, or customer.
Thimble Rigger - A shell game operator
Touch - The victim of a swindle or a sucker
Trick - A swindle. To pull a trick is a swindle.
Trim - To swindle, fleece, jop, clip, beat or cheat a sucker.

Source: Modus Operandi- a write's guide to how criminals work By Mauro V. Corvasce and Joseph R. Paglino from the Howdunit  Series published by Writer's Digest  Books


LisaRayns said...

Neat post!

Paty Jager said...

Thanks, Lisa!

Sarah Raplee said...

Thank you for sharing this great information!

Did you ever read Jenny Cruisie's book Welcome to Temptation? Her heroine had a con-artist father, and the information was fascinating. Also, in her book Faking It, the hero is a *reformed* con artist.

Great post!

Paty Jager said...

Hi Sarah! No I haven't read those books by Jenny Cruisie. I'll have to check them out. Thanks for stopping in an commenting.