cut-purse

cutpurse

[kuht-purs]
noun
1.
Older Use. a pickpocket.
2.
(formerly) a person who steals by cutting purses from the belt.

Origin:
1325–75; Middle English cutte-purs. See cut, purse

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
cutpurse (ˈkʌtˌpɜːs)
 
n
an archaic word for pickpocket

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cutpurse
"one who steals by the method of cutting purses, a common practice when men wore their purses at their girdles" [Johnson], mid-14c., from cut (v.) + purse. The word continued after the method switched to picking pockets.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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