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hood (2) American English

Meaning: a criminal, a member of a criminal gang

For example:

  • She loves watching those old black and white movies from the 40's and 50's full of cops and private eyes and gangsters and hoods.

  • Sometimes movie directors would employ real-life hoods to play bit parts in their gangster films.

Note: This is fairly dated slang now, but it was very popular from the 30's to the 60's. A hood was often regarded as of lower status than a gangster. While a hood would probably wear street clothes, a gangster would probably wear a suit and tie.

Origin: short for "hoodlum"; first appeared in American English in the 1930's

Variety: This slang is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

Jimmy says his grandpa was a hood back in the 40's and 50's. He'd tell Jimmy stories about his life as
  1. a popular entertainer
  2. a small-time criminal
  3. a baseball player

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