Gun moll

Gun moll

A gun moll is a female companion of male professional criminal, and in some contexts the term more specifically suggests that the gun moll handles a firearm.

When the term came into usage in the first decade of the 20th century, [ [ gun moll - Definitions from ] ] "gun" derived from the Yiddish word meaning "thief," variously transliterated into English as ganef, gonif, goniff, or ganof, [ [ ganef - Definitions from ] ] and not from "gun" in the sense of a firearm.

"Moll" derives from "Molly", a diminutive of "Mary", used as a euphemism for "whore" or "prostitute".

In the U.S., the term has mostly been applied a woman associating with an American gangster of the 1920s and '30s, and in most cases remarkable only because of his notoriety. Extended use of the term without awareness of the Yiddish root, however, has invited interpretations of "gun" as suggesting more than simply criminal associations. Bonnie Parker and Blanche Barrow were gun molls in this stronger sense, and especially notable examples in general, because of their accompanying the rest of the Barrow Gang to the planned locations of violent crimes, and in Parker's case, apparently directly assisting at least to the extent of loading guns in the midst of shootouts.

Prominent Gun molls

*Beulah Baird - Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd
*DaLonne "Dee David" Chisam (later Cooper)(b. 30 Apr 1923, d. 12 Nov 1976) - Mickey Cohen [Long Beach Independent - Long Beach, California - Thursday, July 21, 1949 - P. 32] and Fred (Alfred) Sica (b. 11 Sep 1915, d. 1987) [Long Beach Press-Telegram - Long Beach, California - Friday, November 02, 1956 - P. 23 (This article points out that DaLonne had actually lived with Fred Sica for a number of years.)]
*Jean Delaney - Tommy Carroll
*Evelyn "Billie" Frechette - John Dillinger
*Mary Kinder - Harry Pierpont
*Kathryn Thorne - George "Machine Gun" Kelly Barnes
*Opal "Mack Truck" Long - Russell Clark
*Bonnie Parker - Clyde Barrow
*Helen Wawzynak - Lester Joseph Gillis, aka George "Baby Face" Nelson
*Virginia Hill - Bugsy Siegel
*Judith Exner - Sam Giancana

Related terms

*Italian and Italian American gangsters and mafioso often refer to their mistress as a comare, often Americanized to goomah, goomar, or gomatta.
*gunman - a man who uses a gun to commit a crime
*gunsel - a derogatory name for a criminal carrying a gun; from the Yiddish "gendzel", "little goose", thought to be a slang term for a neophyte criminal. [Jackson, Louis E. "A Vocabulary of Criminal Slang with Some Examples of Common Usages". Portland, Oregon: Modern Printing Co. (1914), p. 40: "GUNSHEL, noun. ... A boy; a youth; a neophyte of trampdom."]
*moll - common term for whore or prostitute, and also the nickname of a 17th century criminal Moll Cutpurse

In popular culture

*"The Lady in Red" (1979)
*"Ruby" (1977)
*"Jigsaw" (1949)
*"Gang Smashers" (1938)
*"The Cocaine Fiends" (1935)
*"Outside the Law" (1920)

ee also

*Femme fatale


External links

* [ Don’t Call Us Molls: Women of the John Dillinger Gang] by Ellen Poulson

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • gun moll — gun′ moll n. Slang. sts a female companion of a criminal • Etymology: 1905–10; gun, British argot “thief,” shortening ofgonnof(see ganef) …   From formal English to slang

  • gun moll — 1908, female criminal, second element from nickname of Mary, used of disreputable females since early 1600s; first element from slang gonif thief (1885), from Yiddish, from Heb. gannabh thief …   Etymology dictionary

  • gun moll — ☆ gun moll n. [Old Slang] the mistress or female accomplice of a GUNMAN (sense 1) …   English World dictionary

  • gun moll — noun the girlfriend of a gangster • Syn: ↑moll, ↑gangster s moll • Hypernyms: ↑criminal, ↑felon, ↑crook, ↑outlaw, ↑malefactor * * * noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • gun moll — Slang. 1. a female companion of a criminal. 2. a female criminal. Also called moll. [1905 10; gun in earlier Brit. argot thief (see GANEF), later taken as GUN1, which has influenced sense; cf. SON OF A GUN] * * * …   Universalium

  • gun moll — noun Etymology: argot gun thief, rascal, by shortening & alteration from gonoph, ganef thief more at ganef Date: circa 1908 slang moll 2b …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • gun-moll — /ˈgʌn mɒl/ (say gun mol) noun → moll1 (def. 1) …  

  • Moll — can refer to: Contents 1 As a name 1.1 Notable people with the given name 1.2 Notable people with the surname 1.3 Fictional Molls …   Wikipedia

  • Moll (slang) — Moll (pronounced /ˈmoʊl/) is Australian and New Zealand slang, usually pejorative or self deprecating, for a woman of loose sexual morals, a bitch, a slut or a prostitute. The term can also be used for a girlfriend of a thief, gangster, surfie or …   Wikipedia

  • moll — [mäl] n. 1. GUN MOLL 2. Slang a prostitute …   English World dictionary

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