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