Piney (n, colloq.)

Nickname of Joseph "Piney" Armone, an underboss or capo in the New York-based Gambino crime family, one of the original five Mafia organizations. Armone worked closely with Paul Castellano, the Gambino family capo assassinated in December 1985. Admitted into the mob as a young man, Armone earned his nickname by stealing pine Christmas trees from street dealers and selling them at a discount to the poorer residents of his neighborhood. He spent time in prison in the early 1970s for taking part in the French Connection heroin ring. Armone moved up the Mafia ranks after his release from prison, earning a position as a capo, or underboss to the family's boss. Armone also served as a consigliere (advisor) to Castellano prior to the latter's murder.

Armone allegedly agreed to go along with John Gotti's plan to assassinate Castellano, which eventually resulted in Gotti's promotion to boss of the Gambino family in 1986. In 1987, Armone was indicted and convicted of racketeering charges. The judge in the case offered the elder mafiosi the chance to walk away from the conviction with no jail time if he agreed to testify against other mobsters currently under indictment. Armone, an old-timer who beileved in the Mafia tradition of omerta, refused and accepted a ten year sentence. Armone died of natural causes in prison in 1992.

Unlike the typical gutter-mouthed, womanizing wise guys portrayed in the media, Armone was a quiet man who rarely swore or lost his temper, and who was faithful to his wife his entire life.
Also a general name for natives to the pine barrens of New Jersey. Pineys have a lot in common with hillbillies, as they are thought to be simple minded and crude. Though usually residing in the woods, away from civilization, Pineys can be spotted at the many blueberry and cranberry festivals that are annual events here in the sticks. They often perform on stage at such events, entertaining festival-goers with country, bluegrass, and folk music about the Jersey Devil or squashing frogs along the dirt road with their trucks, among other things.

Other piney activities involve hunting deer and building log cabins in the woods, where they live. You can tell a piney by his or her attire (usually plaid flannel shirts and jeans), and their accents, which sound curiously like a Southern drawl. Pineys are a funny folk, and are very much into New Jersey and the natural environment of the pine barrens.

Pin"ey (?), a.

See Piny.


© Webster 1913.

Pin"ey, a. [Of East Indian origin.]

A term used in designating an East Indian tree (the Vateria Indica or piney tree, of the order Dipterocarpeae, which grows in Malabar, etc.) or its products.

Piney dammar, Piney resin, Piney varnish, a pellucid, fragrant, acrid, bitter resin, which exudes from the piney tree (Vateria Indica) when wounded. It is used as a varnish, in making candles, and as a substitute for incense and for amber. Called also liquid copal, and white dammar. -- Piney tallow, a solid fatty substance, resembling tallow, obtained from the roasted seeds of the Vateria Indica; called also dupada oil. -- Piney thistle Bot., a plant (Atractylis gummifera), from the bark of which, when wounded, a gummy substance exudes.


© Webster 1913.

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