from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A member of the swell-mob; a genteelly clad pickpocket. Sometimes mobsman.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Stanley Lake was swearing, in his low tones, like a swell-mobsman to-night.
'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.
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.
You may well believe him a choice flower in the bouquet of the corporation; we mean the corporation that banquets and becomes jubilant while assassins stab their victims in the broad street -- that becomes befogged while bands of ruffians disgrace the city with their fiendish outrages -- that makes presidents and drinks whiskey when the city would seem given over to the swell-mobsman -- when no security is offered to life, and wholesale harlotry, flaunting with naked arms and bared bosoms, passes along in possession of Broadway by night.
The murderer's widow of Prague was built of sterner stuff; she cared not a hempen strand for Joanna, a pale consumptive doxy, according to her picturing, who had jilted me for an eminent swell-mobsman in London. "
Now, I haven't been pursering for ten years without learning something, and I can smell a swell-mobsman almost before I see him. "
She was spared from any encounter with a travelling swell-mobsman, who would have garotted her for the sake of her watch and purse, or an insolent bagman, who would have made himself obnoxiously agreeable on account of her pretty face. "