Did You Know?
Safecracker first appeared in print in English around 1825, but English speakers evidently felt that they needed a more colorful word for this rather colorful profession. No one is quite sure where "yegg" came from. It first appeared in the New York Evening Post on June 23, 1903, in an article about "the prompt breaking up of the organized gangs of professional beggars and yeggs." By 1905, it had acquired the variant "yeggmen," which was printed in the New York Times in reference to unsavory characters captured in the Bowery District. "Yegg" has always been, and continues to be, less common than "safecracker," but it still turns up once in a while.
Origin and Etymology of yegg
First Known Use: 1903
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up yegg? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).