According to dictionaries, A collection agency, also known as a debt collector, is a business that pursues payments of debts owed by individuals or businesses.

But I have seen in movies that criminal organizations ( Mafias) hire some obnoxious men as ( illegal) debt-collectors whose job is to collect the payments by force and violently, if necessary!

I'd like to know if there is any slang word, term , phrase or idiom among those Mafias members for calling these "debt-collectors" or not!


1-I have found a British English word "bumbailiff" but it refers to officers whose job was collecting debts,in the past; so I'm sure I cannot use it for those men hired by Mafias as debt-collectors!

2-In the duplicate question, Morteza is looking for the "debt-collector", but I am looking for its slang equivalent! So please open my question!

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  • 1
    From my TV and movie watching experience (the only thing I have to go by), I think those individuals would be called heavies or goons. They do the dirty and violent work of the mob but not just debt collection.
    – Avon
    Jul 26, 2015 at 15:16
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    "Enforcer" is probably the best term for a loan shark's collection agent. But there are likely dozens of terms, some localized to a particular region of the US or Britain.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 26, 2015 at 18:43
  • I see. Yes, these debt-collectors are enforcers, too. Let's wait and see how many votes it will gain. Thanks for your comment, @Hot Licks!
    – Soudabeh
    Jul 26, 2015 at 19:07
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    When writing PS or P.S. there's no need to add 1, when you want to add an additional reflection or afterthought, you write PPS / P.P.S. which stands for the Latin post post scriptum. Writing PS2, makes me think of playstation 2 the video game consol :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 27, 2015 at 5:40
  • PS Here's a link. Punctuation after “P.S.” PPS It appears I was mistaken about PP standing for post post. Wikipedia says: PPS (postquam-post-scriptum) and PPPS (post-post-post-scriptum,
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 27, 2015 at 6:00

8 Answers 8


juice man (noun phrase, slang):

a hoodlum who collects money owed to a racketeer

'a 'juice man' (loan collector) for syndicate hoodlum bosses (1950s+ underworld)'

Source: Dictionary.com

juice collector (slang):

one who collects the money (juice) owed to a bookmaker or a loan shark

Source: Wiki

Books containing references to the above terms:

The Black Book and the Mob. Farrell, R. & Case, C.

The Rise of the Mafia. Short, M.

The Mafia Encyclopaedia, Sifakis, C. 2005

  • You're very welcome, @Soudabeh :) Jul 27, 2015 at 0:03

A heavy-handed collector of 'Mafia' type debts is sometimes known as a leg-breaker (per 'yourdictionary'). Another more general term would be enforcer


An enforcer or a strongman is often used to describe any person in a criminal gang whose purpose is to physically intimidate people into fufilling their percieved obligations to the gang.


[Suge] Knight, a notorious strongman and intimidator, was able to have Eazy-E released...

From here.

  • Thank you so much! +1,@dwjohnston, yes, these debt- collectors whom I'm talking about, are enforcers, too. :)
    – Soudabeh
    Jul 27, 2015 at 4:48

Shylock: slang a debt collector

The word shylock, which has been used to refer to loan sharks, is an eponym from a Jewish character in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

A quick survey of TIME’s archives reveals 119 articles that use the word. Many of those are articles about The Merchant of Venice and Philip Roth’s book Operation Shylock — but the last time it was used casually, without reference to the character, was in a 1977 story about the mafia: “A new soldier starts at the bottom, breaking in as a senior thug’s driver, bodyguard or shylock debt collector.”

This excerpt is from When Did ‘Shylock’ Become a Slur?, which was written by Lilly Rothman for the Time Magazine Website and published on 09/17/2014. | Archival links: Archive.is/Wayback Machine


"Loan shark" -- although that would be the lender more than the collector, if the two roles are disparate.

  • Yes,@ Channel Islander!, I think it refers to a lender more, Thanks for your answer! :)
    – Soudabeh
    Jul 26, 2015 at 15:18
  • 2
    But in the Mafia, they don't hire collectors; they are the collectors as well as the lenders. The individual mafiosi may have specialized job duties, but overall they are all loan sharks, whether they are the managers or the low-level "muscle." Jul 26, 2015 at 15:24
  • Oh, I see.@Channel Islander! Actually I didn't know that! , I thought they are payed just for this purpose if they are supposed to act as debt-collector! :)
    – Soudabeh
    Jul 26, 2015 at 15:28
  • Oh, @Channel Islander! I forgot this: ! +1 ( I had already up voted you when I read your answer!)
    – Soudabeh
    Jul 26, 2015 at 15:33
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    C.I., I like the suggestion of loan shark for this OP but your answer amounts to a bald assertion without support to authority (i.e., a dictionary), quotations/citations, links, or examples of usage, e.g., loan shark noun: one who lends money to individuals at exorbitant rates of interest. (Merriam-Webster). Incorporating these into your answers will make them easier for the OP / other users to evaluate (compared to all other answers), more convincing to those unfamiliar with your suggestion, and will result in more up-votes.
    – user98990
    Jul 26, 2015 at 20:11

repo man

-- a person employed to repossess goods for which a purchaser has defaulted on payment.

It is usually a legitimate job, but the term can be extended to cover not-so-legal undertakings, such as the collection of debt accumulated from illegal loans...


Australian slang: standover man / standover merchant:

one who bullies or intimidates; one who threatens violence to gain a desired result; hoodlum - slang-dictionary.org

The definition is not exclusively linked to debt-collection, but it can certainly be used in that context.

More commonly used now for a disperser of bribes, but certainly historically, and I believe still currently applicable to a collector in a protection racket is the term bagman:

  1. Slang A person who collects money, as for racketeers. - thefreedictionary.com

Rocky was a "goon". That was the term Micky used.


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