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noun's 21st Century Lexicon
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Slang definitions & phrases for shark-bait


  1. A police officer, private detective, security guard, etc; cop: a British-accented burlesque of the tough American shamus/ Soon a character began to develop: a shamus named Marlowe (1925+)
  2. A police informer; stool pigeon (1940s+)

[fr Yiddish, ''sexton of a synagogue,'' fr Hebrew shamash, ''servant''; perhaps influenced by the Celtic name Seamus, ''James,'' as a typical name of an Irish police officer]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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