I recently heard the term “criddler” used in reference to an aggressive homeless person. Using a term that, at least from my gathering, is reserved for heroin fiends in order to describe someone being abusive on a street corner seemed like a reach. At best it’s re-purposing an already vague term to describe a typical urban occurrence. Or so I thought at first.
What if the usage is stemming from a desire to distinguish violent and non-violent homeless individuals? Certainly not all panhandlers on city streets are violent but, at least in the Denver metro, news of homeless involvement in violent crime is contributing to a culture of anger towards people who don’t truly deserve it. So the separation of this particular economic strata into the larger group of benign panhandlers and the angry minority of frightening criddlers could serve to reduce animosity among an otherwise indifferent city population.