n. (South, scattered) 1. A thief; crook. “That red-hot’s gonna wind up in lag (prison) if he don’t take a powder (go away from here).” 2. A gun-man or professional killer. 3. A fugitive from justice.

a. 1, Recently stolen; hence, easily Identifiable, 2. Actively sought by police. 3. Teeming with police activity. 4. (P) Characterized by a tense atmosphere, as a result of an escape, riot, general search, or similar serious occurrence. 5. In a state of intense readiness or preparation, as for the commission of a crime; working with abnormal skill or intensity.

- american underworld dictionary - 1950