Query: "ding-ding" in cant or slang

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Nov 16 13:56:06 UTC 2005

Erin's suggestion sounds plausible to me.

  Either that or the guy was picking pockets over the telephone - a truly remarkable talent.


Erin McKean <editor at VERBATIMMAG.COM> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Erin McKean
Subject: Re: Query: "ding-ding" in cant or slang

Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:
> Barry Popik once drew an underworld lingo item to the attention of ads-l:
> (Los Angeles Times, Nov. 8, 1931, pp. K3, 16). The example under "wire"
> contains a term I can find in no dictionary with a relevant meaning, and I'm at a loss as to what it does mean. Would anyone be able to help?
> The example is: "That guy is one of the best wires that ever worked a ding ding in this town."
> Btw, "wire" = the pickpocket who actually puts his/her hand in the pocket of the victim to extract the wallet or purse (vs. the "stall," who distracts the victim or promptly receives the stolen goods).
My guess would be "streetcar," but this may just be because of too much
time spent with the under-five set, as opposed to the criminal element.


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