22

What is the word meaning people who sell something in forceful way on the street or places?

For example, a guy put a flower into my pocket and asked to pay for it. I wonder I can say street seller. But street seller means people who has their stores on the street, doesn't it? He has no store or shop. He just carries many flowers and sell them in forceful way.

What is "the word" meaning people who sell something in this way?

  • 3
    Related at EL&U: English term for aggressive street seller? – choster Apr 6 '17 at 15:57
  • I don't have a general word for this type of selling but in the UK this type of behaviour is associated with "gypsies" selling "lucky heather". Another word that maybe of interest is "chugger" (a contraction of "charity mugger") which is someone who will stop you in the street in an attempt to sign you up to make regular charity donations (usually completely legitimately but very annoying). – Mr_Thyroid Apr 7 '17 at 14:16
26

You can use the following words to describe someone who sells goods on the street, rather than in a shop:

  • Hawker - A travelling salesperson who tends to shout to advertise their wares

  • Peddler (AmE)/ Pedlar (BrE) - A travelling salesperson

  • Huckster - (Old fashioned) A salesperson, generally of small items who may employ "showy" or aggressive tactics to sell their goods.

  • Street vendor - Someone who sells goods on the street.

  • Street seller - See "Street vendor".

None of these words require the selling to be aggressive, however. I can't think of any one word that you could use to define an aggressive street seller.

  • 5
    Hawkers are noisy, if not aggressive. Huckster is strongly pejorative and implies debasement or aggression, even if it's too dated for people to use it any more. Monger's a similar—and similarly dated—term. – lly Apr 6 '17 at 15:02
  • 3
    @lly I wouldn't put monger in the same boat as huckster. (At least in BrE) Monger is not uncommon (although usually it would be in a compound word like fishmonger), it certainly isn't specific to street-selling and I would argue it isn't necessarily pejorative. – SteveES Apr 6 '17 at 15:06
  • 5
    @lly Depending on context, I may not immediately associate those with being pejorative. The negative association may be because "monger" is usually associated with a "trade" (I wouldn't call someone a "monger" on it's own) and is commonly used with bad things to "sell", e.g. warmonger or rumour-monger. – SteveES Apr 6 '17 at 15:34
  • 2
    @SteveES While I agree it's associated with a trade (that I wouldn't call someone a "monger" by itself), that trade is also often street-selling (that is, while "warmonger" and "rumormonger" are legitimate -mongers, the first thing I would think of, would be, say, a fishmonger, that is, a street vendor of fish. Still doesn't connote aggressiveness, though.) I would say if they're literally shoving something on you and then asking you to pay for it, "hustler" is a good word. If they're just yelling about the product aggressively, but not forcing it on you, "hawker" fits perfectly. – neminem Apr 6 '17 at 17:15
  • 3
    @neminem This may be just me/a British thing, but I would consider a fishmonger to be any seller of fish, typically this would be in a fish shop, or a fishmonger's. – SteveES Apr 6 '17 at 17:21
30

You might use 'hustler' for someone who puts something in your pocket without you asking for it and then asks to be paid for it:

Hustle

  1. To push or force one's way.
  2. To act aggressively, especially in business dealings.
  3. To obtain something by deceitful or illicit means; practice theft or swindling.
  • 1
    This is the correct answer, even though some people will limit hustler to conmen or to people who hustle goods. (Aggressive salesmanship, but not fraud.) The important point is that he's not selling anything, forcefully or nicely. He's just cheating you. – lly Apr 6 '17 at 14:59
  • If I say, there were many hustlers at the park. It means there were many that kind of people? – Ting Choe Apr 6 '17 at 15:38
  • 1
    @TingChoe It could but it's not a specific and clear enough term for people to understand that right away, no. Scam artists might get that meaning across more clearly. – lly Apr 6 '17 at 15:50
  • 2
    This is a good answer for the particular original situation, but be careful when using this term; at least in the US, it's also a slang term for a prostitute. If you told me there were a lot of hustlers in the park, I'd expect you meant a certain kind of park. – 1006a Apr 6 '17 at 20:24
6

The action you describe is often more associated with a street "vendor" than a shop. People cleaning your car windshield uninvited at a traffic light and then demanding money is another example. However, it isn't limited to street vendors. For example, there are restaurants, particularly in areas frequented by foreign tourists, where they will leave an unordered, apparently complimentary, dish on the table, and then charge for it.

"Forceful" is sometimes associated with this but isn't necessarily the fundamental method of manipulation. What you describe is a form of fraud, or trying to get money through deceit or manipulation. These people may escalate to more assertive tactics if the ploy, alone, doesn't work--righteous indignation, trying to embarrass you, aggression or other attempts at intimidation, etc.

Dan C's "hustler" is a good term. Another is scam artist. A "scam" is a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation - M-W

"Con artist" is related, but is typically associated with something more complex, involving multiple steps to "set up" the person being taken advantage of, while a scam can involve just a brief encounter, like your example.

A similar term that is a bit dated is flimflam: deception, fraud - M-W. A scam artist or con man used to be called a "flimflam man" or "flimflam artist".

  • Hm. I'd've said flimflam artist is much too dated and scam artist too uncommon, but I guess they're common enough if you don't like hustler or want to say something like some guy tried to scam me. – lly Apr 6 '17 at 15:06
5

Pusher - a person who too readily or forecfully promotes the use or purchase of a particular thing. (Google definition). Haven't seen this one in the answers yet

  • 3
    In American English, in the context of on-street sales, a "pusher" sells illegal drugs. – Jasper Apr 6 '17 at 21:05
  • @Jasper Yeah, but other salespeople are also known to push things. Also, relatives can be pushy. "Pusher" is more well known for illegal contraband, so it is good to know about that context (because of how often the word is used in that way), but I wouldn't say that the term is so limited (to just that scope) that the term would be wrong to use in other ways. – TOOGAM Apr 7 '17 at 5:27
  • Consider the slang term for some doctors: pill pushers. Related to drugs, but not illicit. Agreed it usually refers to drug dealers who sell hard narcartics though. See Steppenwolf for reference. – Sandy Chapman Apr 8 '17 at 1:42
4

A tout

The verb "to tout" can mean "to solicit, peddle, or persuade importunately"

As a noun it means "one who touts: such as [...] one who solicits patronage"

  • 2
    As additional info, in BrE at least, a tout is most often associated with someone like this who (re)sells tickets to an event or show (a ticket tout), rather than someone who sells goods. – SteveES Apr 6 '17 at 16:06
3

I think hustle is correct. He is a 'fast talking street hustler' trying to 'con you into' buying his flower.

Speed is his friend because, if you take time to think about it, buying the flower will just encourage the same person to pull the same stunt next time they see you or anyone like you and you're better off nipping it in the bud!

hus·tle
verb
1. force (someone) to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified direction : they hustled him into the back of a horse-drawn wagon

2

You can also combine some of these words, as in "street vendor scam artists", "scammy street hustlers", "*hustler scam artists", "high-pressure street vendors", etc.

1

Planter.

Actually, that's not a word that is commonly used for a person doing that. However,

a guy put a flower into my pocket and asked to pay for it.

the verb "plant" is commonly used for such a thing.

Especially in terms like this:

The police officer planted evidence

That sort of usage of the word is quite common. (If he accuses you in front of other people, then he chose to "frame" you. That implies an accusation of something you are innocent of.)

Some other possible words: swindler (kind of derived from part of Dan C's answer), fraudster, criminal, crook

protected by Community Apr 6 '17 at 20:42

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.