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cutpurse

[kuht-purs] /ˈkʌtˌpɜrs/
noun
1.
Older Use. a pickpocket.
2.
(formerly) a person who steals by cutting purses from the belt.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English cutte-purs. See cut, purse
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cutpurse

cutpurse

/ˈkʌtˌpɜːs/
noun
1.
an archaic word for pickpocket
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cutpurse
n.

"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 (n.). The word continued after the method switched to picking pockets.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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12
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