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Old 26 Oct 2004, 10:09 AM   #1
JeffK
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Meaning of the word "mob"

In Australia the word mob refers to a group of people and does not have many negative connotations. In fact indigineous Australians often use the word to mean their family, extended family or tribe in the best sense.

I want to know, in other parts of the world, especially in the US, is the meaning of the word mob mainly negative eg referring to a gang or family involved in organised crime?

Any help would be appreciated.

Jeff
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Old 26 Oct 2004, 10:19 AM   #2
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Re: Meaning of the word "mob"

Quote:
Originally posted by JeffK
In Australia the word mob refers to a group of people and does not have many negative connotations. In fact indigineous Australians often use the word to mean their family, extended family or tribe in the best sense.

I want to know, in other parts of the world, especially in the US, is the meaning of the word mob mainly negative eg referring to a gang or family involved in organised crime?

Any help would be appreciated.

Jeff
Yeah, in most cases.

When I say "there's a mob downtown that is having a party", that means that there is a group of some bad people planning some sort of drug shipment or a meeting where you do a lot of drugs. When we want to speak of an extended group, we usually use (in suburban areas as far as I know) the word 'gang', meaning a group of people, not necessariy positive or negative. I know of a few parents who use the term 'peanut gallery' for a meeting of children. I never did find out why, but, yeah, the USA is really weird.

I remember a foreign exchange student getting really confused. He had learnt english in his native country, but then he comes to the US and is horrified when he hears that a group of friends are going to 'hang out'.
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Old 26 Oct 2004, 10:56 AM   #3
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It has two meanings:

1. a group of people in a crowd - "I was mobbed by shoppers at the sale today!" or "There was a mob (or you can say mob of people) downtown picketing in front of the business."

2. Organized crime - little gangs are penny ante as compared to mobs. Here's the definition:

Quote:
a: An organized gang of criminals; a crime syndicate.
Quote:
b: often Mob Organized crime. Often used with the: a murder suspect with links to the Mob.
I often think of the Mafia when I think of "mob" because the Mafia can also be referred to as "The Mob.
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Old 26 Oct 2004, 02:22 PM   #4
injinuity
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somebody has been watching a lot of 'The sopranos' lately eh liza?
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Old 26 Oct 2004, 10:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by injinuity
somebody has been watching a lot of 'The sopranos' lately eh liza?
I've never seen that actually. :-D
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Old 26 Oct 2004, 10:37 PM   #6
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Jeff: Being right beside the US, our meaning of the word is basically the same as xbot and Lisa have commented on above.

I also think of a great mob of people if you are at an amusement park or some such event as well. I agree with Lisa, thinking the word mob in and of itself makes me think of the streets of Chicago or New York and the Mafia.

I have never seen The Sopranos either, but have seen enough Mafia movies to have that impression.

Lisa: I think the term "peanut gallery" is derrived from The Charlie Brown comic strips, "Peanuts" -- we often call a large group of children "Rugrats" as well, I am sure this has been encouraged from the cartoon of that name!!

Susan.
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Old 26 Oct 2004, 11:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by SusanUKF
Lisa: I think the term "peanut gallery" is derrived from The Charlie Brown comic strips, "Peanuts" -- we often call a large group of children "Rugrats" as well, I am sure this has been encouraged from the cartoon of that name!!

Susan.
Hi Susan --
According to this site the idiom peanut gallery has been around much longer than "Peanuts."
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Old 26 Oct 2004, 11:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chipper
Hi Susan --
According to this site the idiom peanut gallery has been around much longer than "Peanuts."
Thanks for the link Chipper... I still think of Charlie Brown and the gang when I think of the term though.. hehehe!

Susan.
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Old 27 Oct 2004, 02:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by SusanUKF
we often call a large group of children "Rugrats" as well, I am sure this has been encouraged from the cartoon of that name!!
I've read somewhere that "rugrats" for children (also "ankle biters", although that one would be more apt if applied to kittens) is an Australianism. It certainly predates the cartoon...
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Old 27 Oct 2004, 04:13 AM   #10
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http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=mob
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Old 27 Oct 2004, 04:47 AM   #11
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Heh, in my context the word mob means a Flashmob... in Dutch the word isn't really used, but I took part in a few flashmobs, which has been verbized into 'mobben' ('to mob') around here.

--K
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Old 27 Oct 2004, 04:54 AM   #12
injinuity
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Quote:
Originally posted by kander
Heh, in my context the word mob means a Flashmob... in Dutch the word isn't really used, but I took part in a few flashmobs, which has been verbized into 'mobben' ('to mob') around here.

--K

A mob that flashes.... coool
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Old 27 Oct 2004, 05:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by injinuity
A mob that flashes.... coool
I hope you don't mean "flash" in the individual-person sense, as that would be in danger of breaching Forum rules!
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Old 27 Oct 2004, 05:29 AM   #14
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Heh, nice one Robert No, we don't do such things, our mobs are very wellbehaving in general, and the community kind-of upholds it's own standards (no breaking laws, no breaking property, no indecency.. it's more of an unwritten law, but everyone sticks to it so far)

--K
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Old 27 Oct 2004, 05:58 AM   #15
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