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Yegg – another Zenword with Criminal Intent

by zenwords staff

Beware thieves in socksI ran across yegg in Jack Black’s bleak autobiography, You Can’t Win. Jack Black was a small time petty thief  at the turn of the last century with a terminal unlucky streak. Fortunately for us, he was a better writer and his book is considered a cult classic. You Can’t Win features characters like Foot-and-a-half George and Salt Chunk Mary and was William S. Borroughs’ favorite book. It’s a wild ride through hobo jungles, hop joints and penitentiaries as part of the yegg brotherhood.

Yegg (yeg) n. A thief, especially an itinerant burglar or safecracker.

Jack Black’s trenchant autobiography You Can’t Win is a gritty tale of his life as an unsuccessful yegg in the Old West.

DID YOU KNOW?  The word yegg is traced to 1903 and it comes from underworld slang. Yegg is of unknown origin, but is said to be from John Yegg, a Swedish tramp, or perhaps from the German word Jäger, which means huntsman. (photo by EvinDC)

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