Human Resources

  • noun a worker hired to replace a worker who is on strike


  • noun an informer or any untrustworthy, reprehensible person. In the late 19th century the word was used for spies, informers, policemen and strikebreakers. It is the German word for finch and was presumably imported by German or Yiddish-speaking immigrants, although the exact meaning is obscure. (It appears not to be related to ‘singing like a canary’.) Less plausibly, the name of the Pinkerton detective agency has also been suggested as a source.