A Short Guide to Understanding Criminals in English
If there was a particular topic I hated, while I myself was studying English, it had to be the topic of crime. Telling one type of criminal from another was quite a pain in the neck for me. So I decided to put up a small glossary to help you with this task. It may be useful for those of you who like watching detective stories or legal reality shows.
The trickiest one has to be a mugger. A mugger has nothing to do with mugs, but rather, he is a person who runs up to you in the street and demands money. And believe me you would give it to him, as typically he carries a knife or a gun.
The next criminal on the list is a smuggler. Now this is a person who gets valuable objects in one country, and tries to bring them illegally, meaning without a bill of entry, into a different one. Objects may include paintings, items of historical value or even drugs.
Then we have a hijacker. This is a person who illegally takes control over a vehicle. Usually, the vehicle in question is a plane, and in some cases the hijacker could also be called a terrorist.
Next goes a joyrider. A joyrider has a passion for certain vehicles, such as cars or motorbikes, and so decides to “borrow” them for some time. Do not get mixed up – a joyrider doesn't attempt to sell the car to get some money, he is purely interested in the enjoyment of a ride.
Then there is an arsonist. An arsonist sets fire to buildings of places on purpose, the crime that is also called ‘committing arson'.
The final one on the list is a fraudster. A fraudster typically tries to convince you to buy from him things which are fakes. For instance, a painting supposedly done by Monet, which in reality was painted in a nearby flat. He may also pretend to be an official person or produce fake documents to trick people.
I hope this gave you a basic understanding of who is who in the tricky world of crime. Yet there are even more fun ones in the dictionary, so if you have time, look them up.