There is a crime where the robbers wait outside a bank and identify people that are likely to have withdrawn money and then follow them to a place where they are robbed.

Just today I saw this referred to as "bank jugging".

I can not find an etymology of why they use the word "jugging". It rhymes with "mugging" but that just leads me to ask what is the etymology of "mugging".

Here are links to it being used in news stories:





So, my question is: What is the etymology of the word "jugging" in the context of "bank jugging"?

  • Reading through this post: reddit.com/r/Austin/comments/xdli7l/… I think it's reasonable to assume the word "jugging" is likely a contemporary portmanteau, coined in an etymologically untraceable fashion.
    – Albert F D
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 6:50
  • Can you provide citations? Is this British, US, Indian, where?
    – Stuart F
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 8:03
  • Completely unrelated as the OP's use is American English and apparently modern, nevertheless it's interesting OED " 2. As the second element in local names of various small birds, as bank-jug, the chiffchaff, also the willow warbler; hedge-jug, the long-tailed titmouse. 1881 S. Evans Evans's Leicestershire Words (new ed.) Jugg, and Juggy, a diminutive of Joan or Jane... It is now, I believe, exclusively applied to sundry small birds."
    – Greybeard
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 18:23
  • Related; english.stackexchange.com/questions/542663/…
    – Gio
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


From Green's Dictionary of Slang:

jug touch [touch n.1 (4)]

(US Und.) the robbery of people as they come out of banks.

1937 [US] (con. 1905–25) E.H. Sutherland Professional Thief (1956) 47: Some cannons prefer the jug touch, which is picking pockets of suckers who are in or coming out of banks with money which they have just secured.

From similar entries, it is clear that "jug" referred to a bank.

Thus jugging = jug[ + mug]ging

  • 1
    I am not familiar with the syntax of this definition. What is "1937" refer to? What does "con. 1905-25" refer to? what does "1956" refer to? what does "47" refer to? what is: "E.H. Sutherland Professional Thief"? Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 18:52
  • You are expected to do some research of this kind yourself within the dictionary: greensdictofslang.com/about/print/using
    – Greybeard
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 19:01
  • I voted this up but score is zero so apparently someone is voting down. This answer is really good so I am curious why someone would vote this down. Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 19:45
  • 1
    Jug is also slang for prison…but it is not clear from your answer where bank “jugging” comes from.
    – Gio
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 20:00
  • 1
    Upvoted. @Greybeard, thanks for introducing me to Green's Dictionary of Slang - what an awesome resource!
    – Albert F D
    Commented Dec 8, 2022 at 22:29

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