Obsolete American slang for a "safecracker": A criminal who makes a living by opening safes which (hopefully) contain valuables. William S. Burroughs uses the word in The Place of Dead Roads.

The term yegg is also used in Jack Black's autobiography You Can't Win, which Burroughs once cited as his favorite book. (He even wrote the foreword to the latest edition.) Characters in the book that are referred to as yeggs include George, the "Sanctimonious Kid", and "Soldier Johnny", friends of Jack Black whom he met in prison. One of the things I like best about You Can't Win (and I'm sure Burroughs would agree) is that terms such as "yegg", and even "bum", "thief", and "beggar" are used to bestow respect, rather than shame. If you have a difficult time understanding why, you probably owe it to yourself to give You Can't Win a read.

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