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.