Con Argot

Apple See Mark. Any person.
Autograph Getting the Mark to put his signature to something for later use.

Bankroll For the inside-man to finance an outside-man with expenses.
Beef The mark complains to the police.
The Best of it 1. A prearranged method of cheating which will ostensibly allow the mark to profit by dishonest means. “All marks crave the best of it.” 2. A cinch; a sure thing.
The Bilk A short con swindle worked on a madam.
To Blow 1. To allow the mark to win some money. “Blow a fin on the run-around.” 2. To lose. 3. To realize. “The mark never blowed it was a gaff.” 4. To leave. 5. blow off To separate the mark from the inside-man or get him out of the big store after he has been fleeced. See Cackle-bladder.
Blute A newspaper, especially fake clippings used in big con games.
Bobble To raise a mark’s suspicions, especially while short-changing him.
Boodle A bank-roll or stack of bills made to look like a larger amount of cash.
The Breakdown The stage in big-con games where the operators find out exactly how much money the mark can raise.
The Broads Refers to the queens most often used in 3-card Monte.
The Button A method of shaking off a Mark by having fake policemen arrest everyone. The Mark is allowed to talk (or bribe) his way out. See Short Con Shake the Button. See also Cackle-bladder.

C-note A $100 bill.
Cackle-bladder A method of blowing off recalcitrant or dangerous marks. The inside-man shoots the roper with blank cartridges on the pretense that the roper has ruined both the mark and the inside-man. The roper spurts blood from a rubber bladder in his mouth and the mark flees, thinking he is an accessory to murder. The name comes from the original use of a chicken bladder to hold the blood.
Chill 1. For a mark to lose interest. 2. To refuse to recognize someone.
Clean To strip equipment out of a Store.
Convincer The cash that the mark is permitted to win before he is given the big play.
Crack out of turn For one member of a con to miss his cue and speak his lines in the wrong place. Big cons are rehearsed like plays and each man must know his part perfectly.
Curdle For anything to go wrong.

Dip A pickpocket.
Drop-in Something easy; easy money. So called because a fat mark may sometimes drop in to a con game without being steered.

End The share of the score each grifter is due.

Fight Store An early version of the modern big store. The mark is enticed into placing bets on rigged prize-fights.
Fink See Mark.
Fit the mitt To bribe an official.
The Fix Cooperation bought from the police by a fixer. “The fix is in.”
Fixer The member of the team responsible for getting any supplies or locations needed. (Specifically for Leverage, this term refers to the game master.)

Inside-man 1. (Big con) The member of a con mob who stays near the store and receives the mark that the roper brings. Inside-men are highly specialized workers. They must have a superb knowledge of psychology to keep the mark under perfect control while he is being fleeced. 2. The one who operates the game, such as the shell game.

Jacket An entry in police records which may stand against a criminal if he is picked up on another charge.
Joint 1. A place of business (legitimate). 2. A gambling house, big store or other establishment where marks are trimmed.

Lop-eared Stupid. Used in reference to a victim so stupid that he cannot see his own advantage in a con game, sometimes so stupid he cannot be trimmed. “Lop-eared mark.”

Mark The victim, or intended victim. Also apple, Bates, egg, fink, John Bates, savage, winchell, chump.
Money box Old swindle in which the mark is induced to purchase a machine which he thinks will make genuine paper money.

The Office 1. On the big con, a cluck with the tongue used as a signal among members of the mob while the mark is being played. Also, a similar sound on the street when a con man does not want other grifters to recognize him. 2. Any private signal, such as with the eyes or hands.
Outside-man The member of the group that locates the mark and brings him to the store or to the inside-man. Usually called the Roper.

Peter A safe.
The poke The suitcase or wallet found by the roper and mark with a large amount of money, possibly a code cipher, other papers or clippings describing the owner’s success with money or investments. See short con The Hot Seat.

Con Argot

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