Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
- (slang) A pickpocket.
- (slang) a petty criminal
- (slang) Someone who brings unpopular members of a social group to a social gathering, or seems to always have a rather obnoxious partner.
Originally used to mean people who steal from the hip pocket. In the early twenty first century the term was once again picked up by people on the streets of Britain to mean any sort of petty criminal.