What Does the Word “Finks” Mean and Where Did the Term For a Prison Informer Come From?

A fink, whether in prison or not, is a derogatory reference to someone who seeks favor from the authorities for information that they have learned in confidence.

It’s said that a fink is someone who sings to the police or the boss like a canary, which all becomes logical when you realize that fink is the Yiddish word for “finch.”

Finches, or finks, are a family of songbirds, of which the canary is one of the most vocal.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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