Administration – The leadership of a Mob Family. Usually comprised of the boss, underboss, and consigliere.
Associate - Someone who is affiliated with the Mafia, but is not an official member. In the Mafia members must have an Italian father, but associates can be any ethnicity.
Babania - Drugs
Beef – A dispute between mobsters. These are usually discussed during a sit down between the arguing parties overseen by a higher up.
Black Book – This is the nickname given to the casino exclusion lists of Las Vegas and New Jersey.
Book - A gambling operation focused on sporting events. The racket is run by a "bookmaker."
Bookie - Bookmaker
Books - Membership account of the Mafia families.
Borgata – A Mafia Family.
Boss – The leader of a Mafia Family. His word is final.
Boss of Bosses - Deemed the most powerful Mafia boss. In the American Mafia there have been two boss of bosses: Salvatore Maranzano and Charles “Lucky” Luciano. In Italy, there were Salvatore "Toto" Riina and Bernardo Provenzano. Also known as Capo di tutti capi.
Bug – Eavesdropping device
Button - A soldier in a Mafia Family.
Call in – When a Mafia boss or capo orders one of his underlings to meet him.
Can - Prison
Capable – Able and willing to murder for the Mafia
Capo dei capi – Italian for the term Boss of Bosses. Deemed the most powerful Mafia boss. In the American Mafia there have been two boss of bosses: Salvatore Maranzano and Charles “Lucky” Luciano. In Italy, there were Salvatore "Toto" Riina and Bernardo Provenzano. Also known as Capo di tutti capi.
Capo – In Italy this continues to be used as a title for a boss, but in the U.S. it now means a captain, also known as skipper. It comes from capodecina or caporegime.
Citizen – Someone not involved in organized crime or law enforcement
Clip - Murder.
Commission – The overseeing committee of Mafia leaders who rule over mob activities pertaining all Families. In the U.S. this is known as The Commission, in Italy as the Cupola.
Connected - A description of a Mafia "associate."
Consigliere - Third most powerful position in a Mafia Family. A Consigliere is a counselor and advises the administration and other family members about Mafia code, rules, disputes, and more.
Contract - An old-time term referring to an order to murder an individual.
Cosa Nostra – Translated it means “our thing” and it refers to the Mafia from a member’s point of view. In the United States, authorities added the word “La,” creating LCN, La Cosa Nostra.
Cosca - Translated "gang," this term is typically used to refer to a Mafia organization in Sicily. Equivalent to "borgata."
Crew - A body of soldiers assigned to a capo. The crew typically meets on a regular basis at the capo's headquarters.
Cupola – Italian Mafia Commission.
Don – Term of respect used for Mafia bosses.
Earner - An individual who earns income for the Mafia.
Family - The basic unit of the Mafia society. See "Borgata."
Farm out – Pass on a murder contract to another family.
Feds - Federal law enforcement agents.
Fence - Individual who buys and sells stolen goods.
Fix - From the line “The fix is/was in,” meaning someone was bribed to ensure the wanted outcome (sports player, cop) or to gain access to a place to rob.
Flip - To become an informant, government witness, to break the code of silence known as omerta, and cooperate with law enforcement.
Friend of ours - An introduction in which one Mafia member informs another that a new acquaintance is also a member. It is a means of vouching for the underworld credentials of another person. As opposed to "friend of mine," which, in introduction, means simply what it says.
Fuggedaboutit – Forget about it – Can mean praise or criticism, yes or no.
G – A grand, $1,000 dollars.
G – Government, federal agent.
Godfather - Title typically used out of respect and affection. In a Mafia context (particularly in the movies), it refers to the boss. However, no boss in the modern era has been addressed by that title.
Goomar - Mistress
Goomba - Term of affection and respect.
Grease – From the line “grease some palms” meaning paying someone to achieve a goal
Heat - Intense attention from law enforcement and/or media.
Hit - An assigned murder.
Hit the mattresses – Going to war with another organization. That requires massive manpower resulting in hit teams sharing a room while on stand-by, sleeping on different mattresses to get some rest while they wait for weeks or months.
Joint – Prison. Could also be another location
Junk - Narcotics. Those who traffic drugs are in the “junk business” or “junk.”
Knock over - Rob.
Lamming it – Going on the run.
Loan shark - See "shylock."
Lupara Bianca – Translates as “White Death” and refers to murder someone without their body ever being found.
Made - Formally inducted into the Mafia through a secret ceremony.
Make his bones – To carry out a murder for the Mafia
Mark – Someone targeted as a victim of criminal acts.
Men of honor – Made men, members of the Mafia.
Mobbed up – When a place or person is under control or protection from the Mafia
Mustache Pete – Nickname used to describe an older generation of mobsters who held on to old country traditions. Used primarily during Prohibition.
Muscle – Enforcer.
Muscle in - Invade a rival's racket or territory through force.
No-show job – A ghost job, a mobster is on the payroll and collects his check without showing up for work. Usually arranged through union corruption.
Omerta – Code of silence.
On the carpet – When a mobster is heavily criticized by his Mafia superiors.
On the lam - Moving secretly. Indicted mobsters, in an effort to avoid arrest, might go "on the lam," changing their address, moving secretly from place to place.
On the pad / On the take - Designation for a law enforcement officer who is paid by the underworld to ignore certain criminal activity.
Packing - Armed with a concealed handgun.
Pentito – Italian word for Mafioso who is cooperating with justice and law enforcement.
Piece - Either a gun or a percentage of profit from business ventures.
Piece of work - A murder contract.
Pinch - Arrest.
Pizzo – Extortion money paid by business owners in Italy.
Points - Interest paid on a shylock loan. Also known as “vig” or “shy.”
Protection (known in Italy as “pizzo”) - An extortion racket in which business owners are assessed a tax by a local Mafia group in exchange for assurances that no harm will come to them. Also the money paid by organized criminal groups in bribes to law enforcement.
Racket – A criminal operation
Racketeer – Criminal engaged in enterprise corruption
Rat – A snitch, stool pigeon: To provide information to law enforcement about criminal activities of underworld associates.
Rub out - To kill, a murder
Shake down - Using intimidation or extortion to undermine people or businesses.
Shelved – From the line “Put on the shelf,” it means that a mafia member is no longer active and loses his power within the organization.
Shylock - A money lender who loans money at usurious interest rates. If you fail to pay back what is owed for any particular period you are disciplined with violence.
Sing – To inform to police
Sit-down - A meeting, usually to resolve a dispute.
Skim/skimming - Shaving money off the top of the profits from a mob-controlled business without the government knowing. Happened in Las Vegas when the Mafia skimmed money from their casinos.
Skipper – Other word for capo or captain
Soldati - Soldiers.
Speakeasy – Illegal saloon during prohibition.
Standup Guy - An individual who observes the principles of omerta even when it brings harm to himself.
Stool pigeon – Rat, snitch, informant, government witness
Straight from the boat – Newly arrived criminal from Italy and/or Sicily
Straighten out - Resolve a dispute. Formally induct a Mafia member.
This thing of ours – La Cosa Nostra, the Mafia organization.
Underboss - Second in command of a Mafia family.
Vendetta - A pledge of personal vengeance on an enemy.
Vig also known as “vigorish” - Percentage of each bet that is retained as income for a bookmaker. The usurious interest charged by a shylock.
Walk and talk – To evade police listening in, mobsters will go on walk and talks, discussing criminal operations while walking around the neighborhood.
Whack - To Murder.
Wire - An electronic surveillance device secretly placed on an undercover operator to tape incriminating conversations.
Wiretap – Tapped phoneline
Witness Protection Program – Federal program used to provide security and a new identity to mobsters who chose to cooperate with law enforcement
Wiseguy - A "made" member of a Mafia organization.
Zips – Sicilian Mafia members