British Slang For Thief (10 Examples)

Nobody likes a thief. Thieves often used their cunning, wits, and malicious strategies to gain the upper hand and steal whatever they desire. Stealing is innately wrong but is prevalent in some sense at every location or segment of society. In British society, various slang words are used to describe a thief. Read more to understand and properly utilize each of our listed slang terms. 

British Slang For Thief(in Alphabetical Order)



  • (Noun) Borrowing from the Latin term of the same name, Henry Hammond, a Church of England theologian, used this term to describe someone that steals cattle. This term has become obscure over time. 
  • Example: Some countryside farmer got called an abactor but he was just saving the cows from the actual thieves. 



  • (Noun) During the Elizabethan era of England, this term was used to describe thieves that targeted pedestrians. It might come from the terms “foot” and “path,” referring to their preference.
  • Example: Always carry a whistle and a phone. Footpads might be running amok at night. 



  • (Noun) Comes from the Dutch vrijbuiter and has nothing to do with boots. Acquired from trading, this British slang refers to pirates and plunderers. 
  • Example: Jack Sparrow might be a freebooter but he sure is handsome. 



  • (Noun) First used by the Manchester Guardian, this British slang refers to robbers or thieves that target drunk people, especially when they are wasted.
  • Example: Never party until dawn and alone. You might get hit by jackrollers.  



  • (Noun) A British slang with an obscure origin. It is generally derived from pennyweight, another British slang referring to an exact measure of weight. Pennyweighter generally refers to a person or thief that steals jewelry, primarily by substituting it with fakes. 
  • Example: Many heist films have pennyweighters doing absurd stunts and plans.



  • (Noun) A simple British slang that comes from “pinch,” the action of stealing. A pincher is someone who pinches.
  • Example: Never be a pincher or you might get in trouble with the whole crew. 



  • (Noun) First used by Thomas Harman in the 16th century, this slang was utilized for vagabonds. It would later refer to thieves in general. The use of this slang has become weak over the years.
  • Example: 

St. Nicholas’ Clerk


  • (Noun) British slang for highwayman or thief. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of thieves and robbers are said to be his clerks. 
  • Example: We got bamboozled by a gang of St. Nicholas’ Clerks on the way here. 

Tea Leaf


  • (Noun) The Cockney rhyming slang for a thief.
  • Example: Tea leaves should be in jail right away, especially if they target the poor. 



  • (Noun) A person who TWOCs, which means Taking Without Owner’s Consent.
  • Example: The twocker that robbed two candy stores got arrested last night. 

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