: safecracker
also : robber

Did you know?

Safecracker first appeared in print in English around 1873, 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. Its earliest known use in print is from a 1901 New York Times article. This same article also includes the first known print use of the variant yeggmen. Yegg has always been less common than safecracker, but it still turns up once in a while.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In one high-profile case, DuPay and his partner John Wesson figured out who had emptied the Portland Zoo’s safe one night in 1969 -- a cocky yegg named Billy Lewis -- and managed to tie evidence directly to the man’s new wife. oregonlive, 3 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yegg.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1901, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of yegg was in 1901


Dictionary Entries Near yegg

Cite this Entry

“Yegg.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yegg. Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

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