Today, we use the word thug to mean a brutal hoodlum. It might seem that this word is modern slang, but it’s not.
It has been in use for centuries as the name of an organization of murderers in India! The modern word Thug is derived from the word Thuggee, which is Indian in origin.
Thug, or thug, comes from a word that means “cheater” in India. The people who were called thugs worshiped Kali, the Indian goddess of death and destruction. They believed that they should kill and destroy in her service.
Since they also believed that these murders should be carried out without the spilling of blood, they used a noose or a handkerchief to strangle their victims.
The thugs first appeared during the sixteenth century. They traveled through India in gangs, robbing, strangling, and then burying their victims. They had a slang all their own, and they used secret signs so that they would recognize one another. During the next few centuries, they were probably responsible for killing more than 2 million people!
The British began to fight the thugs in the 1830s. They captured more than 3,000 of them and had wiped them out completely by the end of the nineteenth century. One thug who was placed on trial supposedly killed more than 900 persons over 50 years!