Where Did the Word “Thug” For a Gangster Come From and What Did it Mean Originally?

In India, the British encountered a sinister sect that worshipped the Hindu goddess of death.

Known as thags in Hindi, they robbed their victims then strangled them with a silk scarf.

Indian authorities wouldn’t suppress them, and so in the 1830s, the British wiped them out by hanging four hundred and imprisoning thousands.

where did the word thug for a gangster come from and what did it mean originally

The American press picked up the story, and thags became thugs, a generic term for “hoods.”

About Karen Hill

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