Word of the Day – Thursday, October 18th



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MOLL (mall)

The girlfriend of a gangster
Common clues:
Gangsters' gal; Mobster's lady; Bonnie Parker, for one; Hood's gal
Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year
Frequency in English language: 37841 / 86800
Bonnie Parker

A gun moll was the female companion of an American gangster of the 1920s and 30s. Gun is an obsolete English slang word, deriving from "ganef", itself a Yiddish borrowing meaning "thief". Moll, from Molly a diminutive of Mary, was a euphemism for whore or prostitute. These women for the most part were unremarkable except for their association with some of the most notorious killers of the times and organized crime mobsters. . The word "gun moll" can also mean a female companion of a robber or terrorist, and not only just a gangster. Bonnie Parker and Blanche Barrow were notable because of their active participation in the criminal activities of the Barrow Gang.

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker was born October 1, 1910, in Rowena, Texas, the second of three children. Her father, Charles Parker (? - c.1914), a bricklayer, died when Bonnie was four, prompting her mother, Emma Krause Parker (c.1886 - 1946), to move with the children to West Dallas, where they lived in poverty. An honor roll student in high school where she excelled in creative writing, she won a County League contest in literary arts, for Cement City School, and even gave introductory speeches for local politicians. Described as intelligent and personable yet strong willed, she was an attractive young woman, small at 4 ft 11 in. and weighing only 90 pounds.

Jimmy Fowler of the Dallas Observer noted, "although the authorities who gunned down the 23-year old in 1934 conceded that she was no bloodthirsty killer and that when taken into custody she tended to inspire the paternal aspects of the police who held her ... there was a mystifying devolution from the high school poet, speech class star, and mini-celebrity who performed Shirley Temple-like as a warm up act at the stump speeches of local politicians to the accomplice of rage-filled Clyde Barrow :."

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gun moll" and Bonnie and Clyde.