Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cool Term for the Smash-and-Grab Break-ins Last Weekend Downtown: "Car Clouting"

Posted By on Tue, May 18, 2010 at 9:41 AM

click to enlarge This car got "clouted," fools. - HTTP://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/THIEVINGJOKER/ / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/thievingjoker/ / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • This car got "clouted," fools.
Gather 'round, word nerds, we got a new one.

Many outlets reported the smattering of car break-ins that plagued Soulard and Downtown over the weekend (here's KTVI and the AP). According to KMOX.com,
fans at the M-M-A fights at Scottrade Center, people spending part of Saturday night in Soulard, and teens attending prom parties took the biggest losses. 
It's called "car clouting" - a term that must be new to some people, for the news sites all put quotation marks around it.  Basically, a car clout is a super-quick smash-and-grab job: last weekend, for example, the crooks shattered windows, grabbed whatever they could (in one case they snatched a gun) and took off.
 
We suppose this is distinct from the thief who quietly jimmies his way into a car and can spend more time searching around for loot.

If you look up "clout" in Webster's online dictionary, you'll see the familiar noun form, which just means "pull or influence."

But oh, there's more: the transitive verb "to clout" means "to hit forcefully." As in, "I clouted that Escalade and stole an iPod," or "When you fail to turn your cellphone on vibrate, co-worker, I feel like clouting your face."

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