Lush Worker (1914)
george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Wed Apr 6 15:07:00 UTC 2005
. . . "lush grafters" robbing drunks. . . . Cornelius W. Willemse, A
Cop Remembers, N. Y.: E. P. Dutton, 1933, p. 289
George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.
----- Original Message -----
From: bapopik at AOL.COM
Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2005 1:07 am
Subject: Lush Worker (1914); No Democratic or Republican way to clean
> NO REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRATIC WAY TO CLEAN STREETS
> I saw this in the lead editorial in the New York Post yesterday. I
> re-checked with different search terms, but still couldn't beat 1934.
> COUNCILMANIC ANTICS
> New York Post, 4 April 2005, 655 words, (English)
> Politicians and academic types love to say there's no "Republican"
> or "Democratic" way to pick up the garbage, but New York City
> Council members seem to have their own idea: Don't pick it up at all.
> (PROQUEST HISTORICAL NEWSPAPERS)
> MAYOR LISTS TRAPS FOR MERIT SYSTEM; Exemptions, 'Fixed' Tests and
> Court Attacks Are Pitfalls, He Warns in Michigan PRAISED BY GOV.
> MURPHY La Guardia Exemplifies 'Futility of Boss Rule,' Civil
> Service Meeting Is Told
> Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1857-Current
> file). New York, N.Y.: Feb 27, 1938. p. 4 (1 page):
> "There's no Republican or Democratic way of cleaning the street."
> POLITICS AND BRIDGES
> New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Oct 5, 1938.
> p. 22 (1 page)
> Mayor La Guardia reminded the conference of public works officials
> in his speech last Monday that "there is no Democratic or
> Republican way to dig a foundation or build a bridge."
> MAYOR ANNOUNCES 3D TERM CAMPAIGN ON EFFICIENCY ISSUE; Contest Seen
> Between 'Honest' City Government and One 'Machine-Controlled' GETS
> BACKING OF FUSION He Will Accept Republican Designation, He Says --
> To Retain Defense Post MAYOR ANNOUNCES 3D TERM CAMPAIGN
> New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Jul 22, 1941.
> p. 1 (2 pages)
> Pg. 11:
> "That government must be wholly aloof from national partisan
> politics," the meggage said. "There is no Republican way and no
> Democratic way of administering its business."
> LUSH WORKER
> Gothamist mentions "lush worker" today in a subway story. It seems
> like it's much older, but several citations start in 1914 and all
> are about New York. I guess I'll add it.
> 2. Comb.: lush-crib, -ken, = lushing-ken (see LUSHING vbl.
> n.); lush-head, -hound, a drunkard; lush-roller, -worker, one who
> steals from drunks.
> 1790 POTTER Dict. Cant. (1795), Lush ken, an alehouse. 1812 J.
> H. VAUX Flash Dict., Lush-crib or Lush-ken, a public-house, or gin-
> shop. 1823 Blackw. Mag. XIII. 457 On leaving the lush-crib, we can
> figure them giving fippence to the drawer. 1925 H. LEVERAGE in
> Flynn's IV. 869/2 Lush-roller, one who robs drunken men. 1930 Lush-
> worker [see GLOM v.]. 1935 G. INGRAM ‘Stir’ Train ii. 31 He's a
> ‘lush-hound’ and I knew he must be a coward. 1945 L. SHELLY Jive
> Talk Dict. 29/1 Lush head, chronic drinker. 1946 MEZZROW & WOLFE
> Really Blues (1957) Dedication, To all the junkies and lushheads
> in two-bit scratchpads. 1948 MENCKEN Amer. Lang. Suppl. II. 682 A
> creep-joint or panel-house is one in which patrons are robbed, a
> roller or mush-worker is a girl who robs them, and a lush-worker
> is one who specializes in drunks. 1957 Amer. Speech XXXII. 278
> Zoot suit meaning flashy clothes, and lushhead or lush for
> drunkard are no longer considered good jazz lingo, though they are
> or were !
> in common nonjazz usage.
> (OED) ("glom")
> trans. To steal; to grab, snatch. Also intr., usu. const. on
> to. Hence glomming vbl. n.
> 1907 J. LONDON Road (1914) 182 We..discovered that our hands
> were gloved. ‘Where'd ye glahm 'em?’ I asked. ‘Out of an engine-
> cab,’ he answered. 1914 JACKSON & HELLYER Vocab. Criminal Slang 38
> Glom, to grab; to snatch; to take; implying violence. Example:
> ‘Glom this short and drop off two blocks below.’ 1925 G. H. MULLIN
> Adv. Scholar Tramp xii. 180, I learnt that stealing clothes from a
> clothes-line is expressed in Hoboland by the hilarious phrase,
> ‘Glomming the grape-vine’. 1926 Flynn's 16 Jan. 638/1 'Course, th'
> rule is, glom while th' glomin's good. 1930 Ibid. 25 Jan. 524/1 In
> his hip-pocket, where even the lowest kind of lush-worker would
> have no difficulty in glomming it. 1960 J. PHILIPS Whisper Town
> (1965) II. v. 105 You think we ought to go out to the school and
> glom on to that gun? 1962 Dead Ending (1963) I. i. 7 In the
> process of glomming onto that property in Venezuela some people
> got killed. 1969 C. ARMSTRONG Seven Seats to Moon xiii. 126 Trust L!
> ily Eden, though, to glom on to a customer.
> (PROQUEST HISTORICAL NEWSPAPERS)
> Sixty Per Cent of Deadly Criminals The New York City Police Line
> Up Are Found to Be Victims of Drugs
> Special to The Washington Post.. The Washington Post (1877-1954).
> Washington, D.C.: Jun 14, 1914. p. 14 (1 page):
> "Those of us who have been here for years see fellows who were
> known to us once as 'lush workers' (pickpockets), 'pocketbook
> droppers,' and 'handkerchief switchers' (swindlers of returning ot
> newly arrived immigrants), and coalbin and washline and copper
> wire and lead pipe thieves, coming in here with all the human
> intelligence gone from their faces."
> OLD TIME SLEUTH GIVES WAY TO EFFICIENCY DETECTIVE
> New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Jul 5, 1914.
> p. SM9 (1 page) :
> They have gone out on their own hook and brought in a number of
> pickpockets, and "lush workers," criminals who rob men under the
> influence of liquor, and in practically every case a conviction
> has been obtained.
> The New "Social Gangsters" Who Prey Upon Silly Women with Whom
> they Dance; Astonishing Revelations of the Merciless System of
> Thievery and Blackmail Practiced Upon Idle Matrons and Foolish
> Girls by Well-Dressed, Well-Mannered Parasites Who Frequent
> Fashionable Dancing Places.
> BY VAL O'FARRELL.. The Washington Post. Aug 15, 1915. p. SM2 (1
> page) :
> Here in New York the public dance has proved a greater social
> leveler than any upheaval I recall in history. except the French
> revolution. It makes for democracy--and promiscuity. And it has
> brought to the surface a class of lynx-eyed, alert parasites who
> were originally "lemon-squeezers," "pool sharks," "petermen,"
> "lush workers" of the well-dressed type, "coin flippers," "wire
> boosters" and touts.
> SUBWAY TESTS NEW WAY TO FOIL THIEVES
> PETE DONOHUE DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
> 431 words
> 3 April 2005
> New York Daily News
> SPORTS FINAL
> Copyright (c) 2005 Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company.
> All rights reserved.
> TRANSIT OFFICIALS conducted a secret test last week to see if
> early-morning trains could be made safer by effectively cutting
> the subways in half, the Daily News has learned.
> The hush-hush experiment by the Transit Authority involved running
> trains with 10 cars along the Lexington Ave. line - but locking
> the doors of the last five cars to force passengers to enter the
> front of the trains.
> The test was requested by the Police Department to help protect
> straphangers against "lush workers" - pickpockets who prey on
> sleeping, sometimes drunken subway riders overnight, police told
> The News.
> Section B; Metropolitan Desk
> Transit Patrols On 7 Line Cut Night Crimes
> By KIT R. ROANE
> 1,206 words
> 1 September 1997
> 03:39 am
> The New York Times
> Late Edition - Final
> Page 1, Column 5
> c. 1997 New York Times Company
> For nearly four months, police officers on overnight patrols on
> the No. 7 subway line in Queens have focused on deterring two
> types of crimes: token booth robberies and thefts by pickpockets
> who prey silently on riders as they sleep.
> The results have been so striking -- a 71 percent drop in grand
> larcenies and not a single robbed token booth between May 12 and
> Aug. 11 -- that police and transit officials say they will soon
> expand the operation to the No. 6 line and possibly the entire system.
> ''These types of crimes aren't random, they're planned,'' said
> Inspector Thomas Lawless, who oversees all the police officers
> assigned to patrol the subways in Queens. ''So we figured we could
> stop them if we did some planning ourselves. The 7 train seemed a
> good place to start.''
> The program, Operation Awake, concentrates on reducing crime from
> 10 P.M. to 6 A.M. during the week and from 10 P.M. to 8 A.M. on
> Saturdays and Sundays. During these periods, shifts for token
> booth workers have been staggered so an officer is present
> whenever a clerk retrieves money from the subway's turnstiles. And
> trains have been shortened to 6 cars, from the usual 11, so that
> they are easier to patrol.
> Officers also run sting operations to catch what they call ''lush
> workers'' -- stealthy thieves who often seek victims who are in an
> alcoholic stupor. The officers keep dossiers on repeat offenders
> and pass out leaflets in English and Spanish warning riders not to
> nod off.
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