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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Friday 12th July 2024
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

shamus (noun) SHAY-mus

Private detective, police officer.

Somebody puts up a reward, every shamus in town is gonna try to pick it up.

Peter Chester, Murder Forestalled. Amazon

"Looks like your game's over," the shamus shrugged.

Lenneth McLeod, Washington Post, 19 August 2007. Washington Post

While the wise-cracking shamus can sneer all he wants at the notion of mass amnesty for mass murderers, his own wartime membership in the SS (a technical requirement for every police officer) makes him a pawn in the devious schemes of multinational plotters and their governments.

Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times, 10 September 2006, New York Times
reviewing Philip Kerr's The One From The Other. Amazon

"As a detective he makes a good parking-lot attendant," sneers a Canadian shamus named Sheila, whose feminist detective agency proves unequal to the task of discovering which of her lovers has murdered a promiscuous young woman.

Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times, 10 March 1991, New York Times
reviewing Josef Skvorecky's The Return of Lieutenant Boruvka. Amazon

Detective: I'm like you! A brother shamus!

The Dude: You mean, like, an Irish Monk?

Dialogue by The Coen brothers for The Big Lebowski. Amazon DVD

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