|Slang City Mail|
|October 2, 2003|
of the Week: shark (verb)
In slang, sharks have been associated with pickpockets, cheating card players, dishonest businessmen and other shady characters. One of the most notable types is the loan shark, who privately gives loans to desperate customers at high interest rates.
Later, if you can’t get the cash together, declaring bankruptcy isn’t an option. A team of leg-breakers or goons (those who beat up strangers professionally) will be sent to convince you of the importance of making prompt payments. But you know that loan sharks aren’t the only ones out to shark you if you’ve ever heard this joke:
On another note altogether, the phrase jump the shark is used to define the turning point of a television show when it changes from good to bad. It comes from the 1970s hit series Happy Days, when Fonzie, the show’s tough guy, jumped over a shark on water-skis. To many, that was the beginning of the end. When did your favorite show jump the shark? Or is it sharkproof? You can find out at http://www.jumptheshark.com.