Finger the perp in the heist
After suggesting yesterday that I might explore the vocabulary of cop speak, the estimable Peter Hermann has offered his own post on the topic at Baltimore Crime Beat. And he invites readers to submit their own favorites. Be his guest. You might want to suggest BOLO (be on the lookout), used as a noun for an alert.
It’s not only the police who favor lingo outside the stream of current conversational English. Journalists have an odd and lingering affection for dated slang (touched on previously at You Don’t Say here). I’m as fond of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett as the next man, but I don’t think that the slang of the 1930s and the 1940s is quite the way to appeal to an audience in this century.
Bust (n.): For an arrest or a raid.
Cop a plea: For make a plea bargain.
Finger (v.): To identify or inform on.
Heist (n.): For robbery.
Loot (n.): For money or the proceeds of a robbery.
Nab (v.): For apprehend or arrest.
Perp (n.): For perpetrator.
Slammer (n.): For jail or prison.
Of course, you may want to use all of these and more in your screenplay to establish what middle-class suburban television viewers will take for gritty authenticity.