My friends and I are trying to think of a term that refers to someone who is just asking to be put in jail. The closest I can think of is hooligan. Is there anything closer?

  • 2
    Can you give more context? Hooligan implies a type of rowdy behavior. But, you could also say jailbird, which is a person who spends so much time in jail, they eventually wind up trying to get thrown in jail because it's the life they know. Otherwise, wanton criminal. – David M Feb 20 '14 at 5:39
  • I'd say he was a budding recidivist. :) – anongoodnurse Feb 20 '14 at 10:13
  • Ah yes, I think the term my friend was going for was jailbird. He kept on calling me jailbait. Which is definitely not what he thought it meant. And I also really like Recidivist. – user1203054 Feb 20 '14 at 17:04

I would say the person is a delinquent. But I think a good way to describe someone who is asking to be locked up is saying they are sketchy. If you are young and sketchy you might be a punk. If you look like a bully too you might be described as a thug.

  • These are all great answers, but I think in the context I was looking for jailbird is probably the best one. Thanks! – user1203054 Feb 20 '14 at 17:05
  • @user1203054 - jailbird is someone who has been in prison a lot. Really doesn't fit your question. If you use it in the context of your question you would confuse US speakers for sure. "That guy sure looks like a jailbird." This sentence means really nothing. A person who has been put in jail numerous times isn't asking to be put in jail again unless they have some psychiatric condition. – RyeɃreḁd Feb 20 '14 at 17:51
  • Fair point. Although if someone has been in and out of jail several times, I'd argue that they're likely going to end up in jail again sometime soon – user1203054 Feb 20 '14 at 17:55
  • I agree but that doesn't change how the word jailbird is used in the US. It doesn't have much of a negative connotation - well at least not as much as a word like this should have. It simply means someone who has been in and out of jail many times. I would usually think they did some small, stupid things. Yea they have a greater chance of going back to jail but so does anyone that has been to jail. When you are just asking to be put in jail it seems like you are either blatantly doing something wrong in public or have that look of doing something wrong. Jailbird is completely different. – RyeɃreḁd Feb 20 '14 at 18:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.