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A back-alley amuser

Posted by Bruce Kahl on July 03, 2004

In Reply to: A back-alley amuser posted by jis on July 03, 2004

: Hi, I learn English as second language. I was watching this DVD movie 'The Gangs of New York' and came upon this phrase 'back-alley amusers'. Who or what are they? Are they thieves or pick-pockets working in the back alley? Many thanks for your answers.

I never heard of the expression but from the context of the script your guess seems pretty much correct. A "back-alley amuser" sounds like a low level street punk.

"But if Bill hadn't spent the last five
years taking over more and more of Goodge's former duties and actions within the Nativists -- everything ranging from collection and enforcement to running rival gangs out of the Points -- Goodge would never have
been able to accomplish his own transformation: From back-alley amuser, to gang chieftain, to respected citizen and "community leader."