Urban Dictionary
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Detectives sometimes use Urban Dictionary to translate slang when investigating deadly gun crimes.

Pole, strap, gat, drill, stick, glizzy and metal are all words used to describe guns.

A “stain” is another word for a robbery, according to Andy McDermott, a former Aurora detective who led multiple gun investigations during his police career.

“Some of it is stylization, or it’s cool, kind of like an ‘in thing’ to have these different words for firearms. Some of it is to conceal what they’re talking about,” he said. 

McDermott now works for Nighthawk Ascend, a technology company with law enforcement tools and software programs that can be used for digital investigations and analyses.

The Problem Solvers obtained arrest documents from a 2020 Jefferson County murder in which a crime analyst reported using the crowdsourced, online dictionary, Urban Dictionary, to identify slang terms and cultural expressions. …

Social media plays a significant role in gun buying, trading and selling, McDermott said.

“I think what it’s done is it has expanded the ability, or the reach, for people to market in crime guns,” he said.

— Lori Jane Gliha in Translating Street Slang as Teens Deal Guns, Plan Robberies

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41 COMMENTS

  1. Well good for them. Now if they can figure out how to keep the thugs and gang bangers locked up it might have a real effect.

  2. I was talking with someone a while back as to how slang changes over time, new words being created, etc.

    She then noted how strange it was how one slang word still means exactly what it did over 50 years ago, ‘cool’.

    Cool, is still just as cool…

      • And meaning can change over time, like generations.

        As someone once adroitly noted, you can tell how old someone is by what they think when they hear the word “score”.

        Older folks think sports, a bit younger think sex, and younger still think drugs…

  3. The term “Dope” came back to the lexicon. Even as far back as the civil war, it’s Dope!” or “The Real Dope!” came from the addicts the wars made, like that was “The Real McCoy!”.
    I always considered the word to mean opiates. using it for pot was not right. It was also used by older people that had gotten hooked on pain control, usually by the medical industry.

  4. So when the gang slangers have a disagreement, do they have their own etymologist to have it out. Now there’s a job title, etymologist to the Crips, or the Bloods. That would be Dyn-O-Mite!

  5. Language in the 21st Century is changing so fast that when reading comments on line by the younger generation (even people in their mid 30’s) that I sometimes have no idea what they hell they are speaking about. I often have to consult the “slang dictionaries”.

    In one Star Trek episode of long ago a future race of people had so corrupted the “Pledge of Allegiance” that it was not understandable at first when the crew first heard it said. This was not far from reality at all when one studies how much language changes over time.

    It has been said that if could go back in time to the England several hundred years ago you would not have been able to even converse with them. I might add that if you want a challenge read Agnes Herbert’s book “Casuals in the Caucuses: the diary of a sporting holiday” and see how many times you have to reach for a dictionary and her book is only 110 years old.

    Anther disturbing fact is that if you were marooned on an island as Alexander Selkirk was, he lost the ability to speak his “own language” after being isolated for only 4 years and when rescued the crew could not understand what he was trying to tell them.

    Of course I often like to toy with peoples minds in the middle of a conversation by dropping English words like torch, grippers, and the phrase “touch on word”. “Spot on” of course no longer raises many eyebrows as it once did.

    Is it any wonder the English language is the most difficult to learn in the world and that was even before America was discovered and the American Hillbillies corrupted and destroyed the English language. Here are just a few of country slang words like “daid on” instead of “dead on” or “earl” instead of “oil” or “boyd” instead of “bird” or “tager” instead of “tiger” or “right cheer” instead of “right here” or Deetroit” instead of “Detroit” or “Ahhia” instead of “Ohio”. And “Smith and Western” instead of “Smith and Wesson:”.

    And of course there is the language of “ebonics” which I am not qualified to even get into.

      • Wrong Possum the Alexander Selkirk incident was the inspiration for the classic story ” Robinson Crusoe. Look it up. He did indeed forget how to speak in only 4 years of isolation.

      • Read the story of Alexander Selkirk. It is interesting. Although nothing in it suggests he lost his ability to communicate. The story mentions he read Psalms and the story alludes he kept his language skills from doing so.

    • darcydodo…I always have no idea what they hell Jim Crow Gun Control democRat joe is speaking about; “gibberish” or “garbageish.” Is it one or both? LMK city slicker.

      • Jim Crowe refers to a series of laws designed by backdoor means to prevent people from voting. One was In Texas you couldn’t vote unless you owned a Colts pistol. Now in that period a Colts Firearm cost I think $19.00 at the average wage of about $2.00 a month that was almost a years wages. Sure fire way to limit who could and couldn’t vote!! But it also disqualified a lot of other citizens too!

    • Ebonics is hillbilly slang, of course with continued evolution. And the origin is in the poor coal regions and Scottish frontier of England and Ulster in Ireland. I recommend Thomas Sowell’s book Black Rednecks and White Liberals for a more in depth study of this topic. In fact Dr. Sowell touches on this in many of his books as those regions contributed not only language and slang but the culture that gives the much ignored black on black crime in poor black areas.

      • If the libs were aware of this, I assume they would be outraged over the cultural appropriation.

        Also, soul food is just southern food.

        • “Also, soul food is just southern food.”

          In particular, southern ‘comfort food’…

    • So, you’re concerned about your inability to understand da lingitty, but you have no problem with spreading your manure here about five feet deep ? Sounds like there shouldn’t be anything holding you back from moving somewhere far, far away where you’d also need to learn a new language… Bye bye !!

    • “I often like to toy with…”

      That’s a hoot! The only thing you like to toy with requires a tissue afterwards.

  6. Yahoo, thanx for the tips on what to call the gunms. Now I can hit the streets and get me some. Just like the schools drug awareness programs, if it hadn’t been for that I’d have never thought about drugs or what to call them.

  7. Slang is one thing and I can hang with that.

    To purposely change accepted language is a horse of a different color.

    Assault Rifles are real but they are not AR15’s. This isn’t slang or even semantics. This is manipulation and fear mongering.

    Some guns actually do use ‘clips’ but most modern semi-autos don’t. This isn’t slang either. It’s ignorance.

    • Assault Rifles are for slack jawed alternative life style folks who are to limp wristed to control the recoil of a battle rifle.

  8. We’re rapidly heading towards the world shown in the movie “Idiocracy,” where words have no relation to their original meaning.
    That movie “Idiocracy” is a must-see!
    Don’t watch the censored-for-television version; the R-rated version is funnier, as you can watch how the sign on the restaurant “Fuddruckers” changes over the years until it ends up saying “But*f**kers,” Starbucks turns into a brothel, and H&R Block turns into a brothel too (advertising a “full-release tax return!”).

    • That “Dacian” fellow above must’ve stepped right out of Idiocracy’s fictional future into our present day.

      • Thrasybulus, “that Dacian fellow” of which you speak probably doesn’t know what he is and most here don’t seem to care.

        • Most don’t seem to care?

          It’s name appears daily in user handles and comments even when it isn’t writing inane paragraphs about whatever. The regulars here let it live rent free all day in their heads. But what do expect from people who having nothing to do in life but comment on nearly every tag article.

        • avatar Geoff "A day without an obsessed, obviously brain-damaged and mentally-ill demented troll (who deserves to live in New Jersey) PR

          “The regulars here let it live rent free all day in their heads.”

          You should know, since I’ve been doing that to you for years now, pee-gee-two, you insufferable brain-damaged fuckwit.

          What a loser you are! 🤣 🤣 🤣

  9. In other news, police have figured out that Craigslist ads that mention a number of “roses” are prostitutes asking for money.

  10. That’s why I say we have no hope for change except by force. This country has been taken over by corrupt politicians for over 45 years. Everyone one that in government from the past 45 years has baggage. They all need to be put on trial and investigated.i do home work ….. 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐬𝐜𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐤.𝐜𝐨𝐦

  11. Several versions are out there. Using common sense, try it sometime, says a grown man alone for four years would not lose a life long skill of verbal communication. Especially someone who would recite passages out loud.

    The versions of his loss of communication skills are as fanciful as your daily assertions.

  12. A good example is the word “intercourse”. In the 19th century “lively social intercourse” was a group having a lively discussion about the hot topic of the day, such as gun control. Civilized debate in other words. I believe the original quote was, “My country, in her intercourse with other nations may she always be right, but right or wrong, my country.” In today’s society it has been changed to “in her relations” dropping the implications of the use of the word “intercourse.”

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