Private investigator slang

by Nolan Clay Published: March 3, 2013
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vocabulary

workers' Comp slang

Some private investigators have a colorful way of describing their secretive efforts to watch claimants in workers' compensation cases. Here are some of the slang phrases used by longtime private investigator James B. Pate, of Hinton.

• Getting burned: When a claimant under surveillance figures out he is being watched.

• The look: The distinctive way a claimant stares at an investigator after spotting the surveillance. This is proof the investigator has been burned.

• Being dry cleaned: How a suspicious claimant drives to try to determine if he is being followed. The claimant, for instance, may make several right turns. An investigator who is being dry cleaned should break off the surveillance and come back another time.

• Dropping them in the grease: To provide damaging information to an investigator about a claimant. Sometimes, this is done unwittingly by a claimant's neighbor.

• Toasted: When an investigator catches a claimant in activities the claimant shouldn't be able to do because of injury.

by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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