One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who defrauds or deceives people; a conman.‘down below was a wretched herd of thieves, pickpockets, and lurkmen’
- ‘He was a wizened, cackling, brandy-begging lurk-man living on the fringes of a settlement’
- ‘He was inclined to be uneasy and suspicious on the same principle that thieves, lurkmen, and gangsters have the most locks and alarms on their doors.’
- ‘An unemployed 'lurkman' commented about his call-up’
- ‘I saw a group of four big lurkmen—I've noticed them in the background at Randwick or Rosehill when Bill was in for the kill on some racer.’
- ‘Like Milo he was something of a lurkman, but he had the additional quality of humour.’
- ‘Young men searching for the opportunity, lurkmen if you like, hanging around in cities, in the coffee shops of smart hotels, watching and waiting for the main chance.’
- ‘Bernard keeps up a steady barrage of personality-assassination against his ex-lover, an alcoholic ex-Army lurk-man.’
- ‘You had to be there where it was, so we became lurkmen.’
- ‘The lurkman should not take heart: the stuff will be changed back at the tourist rate when you leave the country.’
- ‘He was a terrific fixer, showing the Australian lurk-man's perennial talent for hitching a ride into the forbidden zone.’
1940s: from lurk in the noun sense ‘a profitable stratagem’.
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