All Words > Yegg

Friday, April 8

Yegg

[yeg]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Early 20th century

1.

A burglar or safecracker.

Examples of Yegg in a sentence

"Old Jones was a former yegg who had a reputation as a master safecracker."

"My father told me to find an honest line of work, and keep away from the yeggs trying to tempt me with the promise of easy money."

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About Yegg

“Yegg” appeared as an informal term for “safecracker” in the early 20th century and has long been associated with the culture of train-hopping, which peaked during the Great Depression.

Did you Know?

A “safecracker” has never really been a viable profession, but a century ago, “yegg” was the name for that job. Also called a “yegg-man,” this slang term for a burglar (specifically of safes) was popular in the early 1900s. The word can be traced back to the Pinkerton Detective Agency which was known for tracking down funds stolen from county post offices. The name “Yegg” is likely a pseudonym for one of the thieves.

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