A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“My girlfriend told me to go out and get something that makes her look sexy…so I got drunk” (10/17)
“How do you stop a dog from barking in the back yard?"/"Put it in the front yard.” (10/17)
“What do you call a nightmare about paper?"/"A bad ream.” (10/17)
“I’ve been cutting carbs lately—with a pizza cutter” (10/17)
“Why did the dog cross the road?"/"To get to the barking lot.” (10/17)
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Entry from September 05, 2004
Perp Walk
"Perp" means "perpetrator." The New York City "perp walk" is the long walk the perp takes, usually from a vehicle into a building, facing the cameras of the press along the walk.

The "perp walk" was perfected in the 1980s by a prosecutor named Rudolph Giuliani; the Wall Street "perp walks" are well known and were meant to put fear in the industry.

The first citations for "perp walk" are from Newsday, 4 November 1986, pg. 52, and the Washington Post, 29 November 1986, pg 23. However, the term is much older.


6 November 1976, New York (NY) Times, pg. 19:
The suspect or "perp" (short for "perpetrator" in police jargon) was an armed state probation officer who had gone berserk in his home.

30 October 1994, New York (NY) Times, pg. SM30:
How old is the perp walk?
The term has been used for at least five decades by New York police and photographers, and some experts point to images of protowalks captured long before photography. In paintings of the expulsion from Eden, Adam and Eve are modestly trying to cover their bodies from public view, and the sword-wielding angel's stern expression anticipates the look on a homicide detective walking an accused cop-killer. Other paintings — of Achilles ceremonially dragging Hector behind his chariot, of the Stations of the Cross, of French aristocrats being carted to the guillotine — display elements of the perp walk, although the spectators appear far more polite than the New York press corps is.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • Sunday, September 05, 2004 • Permalink