wharf-rat

wharf rat

noun
1.
a large brown rat that is commonly found on wharves.
2.
a person who lives or loiters near wharves, often existing by pilfering from ships or warehouses.

Origin:
1815–25, Americanism

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wharf rat
 
n
1.  any rat, usually a brown rat, that infests wharves
2.  informal a person who haunts wharves, usually for dishonest purposes

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