smash and grab

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smash and grab (plural smash and grabs)

  1. A robbery where a window of a shop or other premises is smashed and items are grabbed as quickly as possible.
  2. (by extension) An act of theft, appropriation, or other form of gaining advantage at another's expense that is done quickly and audaciously.
    • 2006, Liz Aggiss & ‎Billy Cowie, Anarchic Dance, ↑ISBN, page 5:
      Aggiss and Cowie are smash and grab artists, eclectically borrowing from a range of different dance and performance styles and making them into their own inimitable blended form.
    • 2012, Christopher Pollitt, New Perspectives on Public Services, ↑ISBN, page x:
      My biggest regret is that such a broad and eclectic approach, while in important respects appropriate for a foray into only partly charted territory, inevitably means that I treat some fascinating literatures in a 'smash and grab' manner—I do not do justice to their intrinsic complexity or subtlety.
    • 2012, Roger Collins, Caliphs and Kings: Spain, 796-1031, ↑ISBN:
      His career has been interpreted over the last century or more as being symptomatic of a wide range of forces thought to be at work in al-Andalus in his day, ranging from sheer smash and grab brigandage to incipient Hispanic nationalism, and from the alienation of indigenous neo-Muslims to a last gasp resistance on the part of a dwindling Christian minority trying to preserve their culture from total extinction.
    • 2012, Valerie Walkerdine & ‎Luis Jimenez, Gender, Work and Community After De-Industrialisation, ↑ISBN, page 162:
      What Campbell calls the politics of smash and grab lambasted the sexism of the industrial workers and laid bare the shoddy treatment of women, hidden by images of women's heroic attempts to support their men and communities through the long and bitter industrial struggles of the early 1980s.
    • 2014 December 21, Phil McNulty, “Liverpool 2 - 2 Arsenal”, in BBC[1]:
      Arsenal were desolate but it would have been a real smash-and-grab had they hung on for three points after Liverpool showed most of the ambition and moments of quality in a game high on drama but short on class.
    • 2015, Kristen L. Buras, ‎Jim Randels, ‎& Kalamu ya Salaam, Pedagogy, Policy, and the Privatized City, ↑ISBN:
      Kenneth Saltman (2007a) has argued we are living in an era of “smash-and-grab” privatization.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often used attributively. E.g. A smash and grab raid.