1. (UK Und.) a wedge used for opening safes; thus citizen’s friend, a smaller form of wedge (cf. alderman n. (5); gentleman n.; lord mayor n.1 ).
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
|Banker Tells All 137: ‘We have a citizen – that’s a small one – and a citizen’s friend, which is smaller still.’ Casey’s safe-breaking technique was the last word in the London underworld.|
2. (US) a person, the implication is of a respectable individual as opposed to a criminal.
|Sel. Letters (1981) 303: Well it’s fine to hear you citizens are married.letter 4 Sept. in Baker|
|Iron Man 33: Twenty men crowded through the door [...] reporters, amateurs, pugs, hangers-on, and plain citizens.|
|Popular Detective Jan. [Internet] Well, well [...] citizens like Clarence should not get spiffed.‘Bird Cagey’ in|
|Runyon à la Carte 94: I know citizens who will sit up all night making up propositions to offer other citizens the next day.|
|Naked Lunch (1968) 147: I’m fucking this citizen.|
|No Beast So Fierce 169: He was a squarejohn citizen, a believer in the death penalty, a coward, a dog.|
|(con. 1967) Reckoning for Kings (1989) 64: A citizen is somebody who ain’t a brother.|
|Another Day in Paradise 138: Anything that puts a citizen at risk is not acceptable.|
|Drawing Dead [ebook] I thought some citizen was giving me the eye and went over and stared at him.|
3. a rough, poss. criminal person.
|Psmith Journalist (1993) 234: On these were seated as tough-looking a collection of citizens as one might wish to see.|
|Beckley Post-Herald (WV) 1 Dec. 7/4: Citizen — A fellow gang member.|
|(con. 1940s) Borstal Boy 268: He must be keeping it [...] to scare people, which it did, but not this citizen.|
4. (US gay) in specific use of sense 2, a heterosexual.