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Detective Gumshoes is Sneaky

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Why are detectives in old movies and mystery novels called gumshoes? The term gumshoe derives from the image of shoes with soles made of gum rubber, which offered an improvement over the wood traditionally used for the bottom of a shoe, since those rubbery soles allow the wearer to tiptoe quietly without being detected. Gumshoe has been applied to investigators and police officers for more than a century, although it’s also been applied to prowlers and others who resort to stealth for accomplishing nefarious goals. This is part of a complete episode.

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