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Category Archives: Gangs

This sample of the unique argot of early 20th-century Chicago youth gangs is from sociologist Frederick Thrasher’s landmark study The Gang: A Study of 1,313 Gangs in Chicago, published by the University of Chicago in 1927. I haven’t heard the term “loogin” since I left my hometown of Winnipeg, where I think the preferred spelling was “loogan.” There it signified a loud, loutish, potentially dangerous hoser. I wonder if Thrasher wasn’t missing the mark in overlooking the sexual connotations of both fruit and punk, usage of which as a synonym for catamite dates back to the 16th century.

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