from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A member of the swell-mob; a dressy thief or swindler who affects the airs of a gentleman: generally, swell-mobsman.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete A pickpocket working in groups.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The existence of the mobsman or the slave who lives on in this unthinking way, stands very much nearer than ours to that of the brute, which is confined entirely to the present moment; but, for that very reason, it has also less of pain in it than ours.

    Studies in Pessimism

  • Stanley Lake was swearing, in his low tones, like a swell-mobsman to-night.

    Wylder's Hand

  • His quarry that day was not the swell mobsman, but much more dangerous game.

    Number Seventeen

  • 'He's a vulgarian, he's a swell-mobsman, he's the sort of man who hangs about the corridors of trains going to the Riviera and steals ladies' jewel-cases.

    Seven Men

  • And the landlord had ever insisted that no one, no one at all, could always distinguish with certainty between a real gent and a swell-mobsman.

    Tales of the Five Towns

  • "Unless you've got to cope with a _swell mobsman_ who steals your wife's jewels and then gets in such a funk that he practically gives them back again!"

    Mr. Justice Raffles

  • "Merely that the perpetrator of this amusing outrage can be no other than the swell mobsman who relieved Lady Melrose of her necklace and poor Danby of half his stock a year or two ago."

    A Thief in the Night: a Book of Raffles' Adventures

  • At first the thought flashed across me that he might be a "swell mobsman."

    The Lock and Key Library Classic Mystery and Detective Stories: Modern English

  • His callous eye vainly rested on the peopled loneliness of the bustling crowd, intent only upon the possibility of a sudden dash of some sneak thief, or the chance malignity of some swell "mobsman."

    The Midnight Passenger : a novel

  • He may be a swell mobsman for me with his aliases.

    St. Ives, Being the Adventures of a French Prisoner in England


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