from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A person who lurks about the areas of dwelling-houses for the purpose of stealing; a sneak-thief.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
In all ages the moll, the prostitute, the heroine of so many old-world romances, has been the protectress, companion, and comfort of the sharper, the thief, the pickpocket, the area-sneak, and the burglar.
It has already been removed by some area-sneak, and as I have got rid of the old brick dust-bin, the Vestry threaten to prosecute me for creating a nuisance, because my dust is now placed in a corner under my front steps.
Why should I not present the precise and careful Laura with a handful of her own spoons and forks, left so conveniently at the service of any area-sneak who might chance to pass by?
"I means a area-sneak, sir, as vorks werry early in the morning.