Etymology
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criminal (n.)

"person who has committed a punishable offense against public law," 1620s, from criminal (adj.). Particularly, "person convicted of a crime by proof or confession."

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shamus (n.)

"police officer, detective," 1920, apparently first in "The Shamus," a detective story published that year by Harry J. Loose (1880-1943), a Chicago police detective and crime writer; the book was marketed as "a true tale of thiefdom and an expose of the real system in crime." The word is said to be probably from Yiddish shames, literally "sexton of a synagogue" (according to Israel Zangwill "a potent personage only next in influence to the President"), from Hebrew shamash "servant." Probably influenced by Celtic Seamus "James," as a typical name for an Irish cop.

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regicide (n.)

1540s, "a king-killer, man who kills a king," formed from Latin rex (genitive regis) "king" (see regal) + -cide. Meaning "the killing of a king, crime of killing a king" is from c. 1600.

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incriminate (v.)

"charge with a crime, accuse," 1730, a back-formation from incrimination (q.v.) or else from Medieval Latin incriminatus, past participle of incriminare "to incriminate, accuse." Related: Incriminated; incriminating.

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malefaction (n.)

early 15c., malefaccioun, "heinous wrong-doing, a crime," from Medieval Latin malefactionem (nominative malefactio), noun of action from past-participle stem of malefacere "to do wrong, harm" (see malefactor).

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guilt (n.)

Old English gylt "crime, sin, moral defect, failure of duty," of unknown origin, though some suspect a connection to Old English gieldan "to pay for, debt," but OED editors find this "inadmissible phonologically." The -u- is an unetymological insertion. In law, "That state of a moral agent which results from his commission of a crime or an offense wilfully or by consent" [Century Dictionary], from early 14c. Then use for "sense of guilt," considered erroneous by purists, is first recorded 1680s. Guilt by association recorded by 1919.

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gangbusters (n.)

to come on like gangbusters (c. 1940) is from popular U.S. radio crime-fighting drama "Gang Busters" (1937-57) which always opened with a cacophony of sirens, screams, pistol shots, and jarring music.

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vitiation (n.)

"impairment, corruption," 1630s, from Latin vitiationem (nominative vitiatio) "violation, corruption," noun of action from past-participle stem of vitiare "to make faulty, injure, spoil, corrupt," from vitium "fault, defect, blemish, crime, vice" (see vice (n.1)).

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costa (n.)

Spanish costa "coast," from same Latin source as English coast (n.). Used in Britain from 1960s in jocular formations (costa geriatrica, costa del crime, etc.) in imitation of the names of Spanish tourist destinations.

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connivent (adj.)

1640s, "willfully blind or tolerant," from Latin conniventem (nominative connivens), present participle of connivere "to wink," hence, "to wink at (a crime), be secretly privy" (see connive). In natural history, "having a gradually inward direction, gradually convergent," 1757.

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