One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A private detective.
- ‘Chandler, to whom pulp fiction had come late in life, had written his first Marlowe novel, ‘The Big Sleep, ‘in 1939, followed by six more novels about the L.A. shamus.’
- ‘The criminals are more interesting than the stoic shamus.’
- ‘‘This isn't some tacky shamus [private eye] getting caught out,’ said one media executive.’
- ‘Switchblade in hand, Polanski advances on the cornered shamus, chastising Gittes for being a ‘nosy guy.’’
1920s: of unknown origin.
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