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[fingk] /fɪŋk/ Slang.
a strikebreaker.
a labor spy.
an informer; stool pigeon.
a contemptible or thoroughly unattractive person.
verb (used without object)
to inform to the police; squeal.
to act as a strikebreaker; scab.
Verb phrases
fink out,
  1. to withdraw from or refuse to support a project, activity, scheme, etc.; renege:
    He said he'd lend me his motorcycle, but he finked out.
  2. to become untrustworthy.
Origin of fink
1900-05, Americanism; compared with German Fink literally, finch, colloquial epithet for an undesirable person, especially an untidy or loose-living one (often in compounds, as Duckfink sycophant, Schmierfink untidy writer); but the transmission of this word to English and the range of meanings of the English word have not been clarified fully Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for fink


a strikebreaker; blackleg
an informer, such as one working for the police; spy
an unpleasant, disappointing, or contemptible person
(intransitive) often foll by on. to inform (on someone), as to the police
Word Origin
C20: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fink

1902, of uncertain origin, possibly from German Fink "a frivolous or dissolute person," originally "finch;" the German word also had a sense of "informer" (cf. stool pigeon). The other theory traces it to Pinks, short for Pinkerton agents, the private police force hired to break up the 1892 Homestead strike. As a verb, 1925 in American English slang. Related: Finked; finking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for fink



  1. A strikebreaker; scab (1890s+)
  2. A labor spy; a worker who is primarily loyal to the employer: unpopular with the other waiters, who thought him a fink (1902+)
  3. A police officer, detective, guard, or other law-enforcement agent: This Sherlock Holmes, this fink's on the old yocky-dock (1925+)
  4. An informer; stool pigeon: Now he's looking for the fink who turned him in/ The glossary runs to such pejorative nouns as fink, stoolie, rat, canary, squealer (1920s+ Underworld)
  5. Any contemptible person; vile wretch; rat fink, shitheel: All men are brothers, and if you don't give, you're a kind of fink (1894+) v: Dutch knew I worked for his friend and I wouldn't fink (1920s+)

[origin unknown; perhaps fr Pink, ''a Pinkerton agent engaged in strike-breaking,'' or fr German Fink, ''finch,'' a university students' term for a student who did not join in dueling and drinking societies; first sense said to have been used during the Homestead Strike of 1892; fifth noun sense was unaccountably revived in the early 1960s]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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