1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Street name for protection racket

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Wreybies, Apr 3, 2016.

    This has nothing to do with my writing and I'm not looking for a creative take on a name for "protection racket". I'm wondering if anyone knows actual street slang in English for this kind of thing, if there is any.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would have said that "protection racket" WAS the street slang...
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, I'm actually under the same impression. I've never run across a different term, and I work in the world of jurisprudence. It's not for any writing project. A friend of mine who is a Russian interpreter is asking me. There is a slangy term in Russian for this which roughly get's interpreted as "offering someone a roof". It's a bit metaphorical, but that is how you say it in the Russian "hood". :) He's looking for an interpretation that hits the same register. I don't think there is one, in truth.
     
  4. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    They probably wouldn't use the word "racket" on the street, seeing as it's a legal term that's condemning. In the same way as you call someone a hit-man or assassin not "professional murderer". "Protection" actually is a gang street term though, it's a neutral or nice way of talking about something unpleasant and illegal. You call it "extortion" if you are talking officially. And "extortion racket" as opposed to "we offer protection".
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2016
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  5. Witchymama
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    Witchymama Active Member

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    Maybe "insurance" is the word your looking for.
     
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  6. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    @Wreybies are you talking about money paid by a person to be protected from bad guys on the street? Or are you talking about money paid BY bad guys to be protected from the law? Like hush money?
     
  7. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    Can't think of one criminals would use. Not talking with their targets, anyway. They might say shakedown amongst themselves, and their targets might call it the same thing, but I can't think of much else.
     
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  8. Jeni
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    Jeni Member

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    onewal.com Mafia slang says "protection" is an extortion racket in which business owners are assessed a tax by local Mafia in exchange for assurances that no harm will come to them. Also, "Shake down" is to obtain money or other concessions from businesses or individuals by using intimidation or extortion.
     
  9. X Equestris
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    X Equestris Contributing Member Contributor

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    It should be noted they're often one and the same. One trying to get a person to join their protection racket might make the implicit threat of inflicting harm if they choose not to join.
     
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  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    "Racket" might not be used on the streets these days. Fifty years ago, however, I think that was street slang.
     
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  11. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Racket is a legal term I think. As in racketeering. I don't think it's a term you want to describe yourself as. It's like murderer, you say assassin or hit-man. Heck, it's not even just the condemning element, it's also just a technical term, something usually not casual enough for street use unless you're nerds.
     
  12. Jeni
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    Jeni Member

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    "on the pad" again Mafia slang for having to pay bribes for one's protection ....but this may be a member paying off the cops.
     
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  13. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    greasing the palm...
     
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  14. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It definitely used to be a street term. All you have to do is watch old gangster movies or read old novels from the 1930s etc. It is used as street patois in those works, which tells me how it was used contemporaneously.
     
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  15. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    So from what I just read in a book excerpted online, the origin of the legal term racketeering comes from the word racket, the origins of which are obscure. The book made note of the use of the term in the 1920s. The RICO Act came about in the 70s, I believe. I think the legal term came from the street slang, not vice versa.
     
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  16. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    "Protection racket" is not used for bribes. Bribery is a separate charge from any kind of racketeering, little own protection(extortion) specifically.
     
  17. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    That's probably bribery though, not racketeering.
     
  18. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Indeed, that's what "extortion" means. It implies there is a threat somewhere in the arrangement. The very reason it's illegal is because of that. It's never a diplomatic, negotiated agreement. It's just forced pay from them, with "protection" being only a semi-service, more about protecting their investment than you, but does ensure than if it works, the person only has to deal with someone who needs them alive.
     
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