How Did the Term “Rap Sheet” For a Criminal Record Originate and What Does it Mean?

Rap surfaced as a word imitating sound in the fourteenth century.

Among other things, it perfectly describes the noise made by someone knocking, or “rapping,” at the door.

In the criminal sense it’s the rap of a judge’s gavel sounding the end of a trial that gave us such phrases as “a bad rap” and “a bum rap.”

how did the term rap sheet for a criminal record originate and what does it mean

A rap sheet is a record of criminal charges wherein the suspect couldn’t prove his innocence before the rap of the gavel.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for Born in New York, she loves interesting random facts from all over the world.