Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A class of pickpockets who go about genteelly dressed in order to mix in crowds, etc., with less suspicion or chance of recoguition.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • The other convict, named Riganson, and his kept woman, known as la Biffe, were a most formidable couple, members of the swell-mob.

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

  • Fil-deSoie — he had thirty names, and as many passports — will henceforth be spoken of by this name only, as he was called by no other among the swell-mob.

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

  • The swell-mob, or more exactly, the upper class of thieves, which is the Faubourg Saint – Germain, the aristocracy of the tribe, had, in 1816, after the peace which made life hard for so many men, formed an association called les grands fanandels — the Great Pals — consisting of the most noted master-thieves and certain bold spirits at that time bereft of any means of living.

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

  • Whether you be male or female, gentle reader, do not wear much jewellery -- beware of being taken for one of the swell-mob and the doubtfuls; but if you are a lady, and wish for jewellery in the evening, choose between pearls and diamonds; better have a few of these, and good, than whole caskets of topazes and amethysts.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 57, No. 357, June, 1845

  • For thefts, again, whilst occasional simple thefts are largely the effect of social and economical conditions, this influence becomes feebler in comparison with impulses due to the personal constitution, organic and psychical, as, for instance, in the case of thefts with violence, and especially of murder for the purpose of robbery, which scoundrels of the "swell-mob" so frequently commit in cold blood.

    Criminal Sociology

  • Were it not blasphemy to sully Barrington with slang you would call him a member of the swell-mob, but, having cultivated a grave and sober style for himself, he recoiled in horror from the flash lingo, and his susceptibility demands respect.

    A Book of Scoundrels

  • Barrington with slang you would call him a member of the swell-mob, but, having cultivated a grave and sober style for himself, he recoiled in horror from the flash lingo, and his susceptibility demands respect.

    A Book of Scoundrels

  • He wore the chamois-leather belt buckled tightly round his waist next to his inner shirt, and was able to defy the swell-mob, had those gentry been aware of the treasures which he carried about with him.

    Henry Dunbar A Novel

  • Austere iron railings guard the subterranean kitchen areas, and austere looks indicate a desire on the part of the passengers to guard their own pockets; gradually little gardens usurp the places of the cramped areas, and, with their humanizing appearance, softer looks assume the place of frowning _anti_ swell-mob ones.

    Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour

  • Biffe, were a most formidable couple, members of the swell-mob.

    Scenes from a Courtesan's Life

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