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 n.— «Photographers, and in particular those shuffling around in bovine fashion attempting to get pictures of Britney Spears, are being arrested for violating laws about loitering on the public pavements.…TMZ is reporting that six photographers (two of whom were working for TMZ themselves) were arrested for “sidewalk violation,” or “mooching” as it is known around these parts.» —“Don’t Stop, Don’t Shoot” by Ianmcshane Holy Moly Feb. 21, 2008. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  • Where I come from (Scotland), to mooch is to try to get somebody to give you something for free e.g. a kid who’s always mooching sweets off his friends. “Stop mooching!” is usually what such a kid would be told.
    It does not have the connotation of loitering at all.

  • The verb “to mooch” seems to be wide spread in American English. I use it frequently in Suzanne’s sense of to try and get someone to give you something for free, and no one has ever mis-understood or asked me what I mean. It is usually used in a derogatory context.

    Cab Calloway had a hit record in 1930 titled “Minnie the Moocher”. There is an extensive discussion of “Moochism” in Ishmael Reed’s 1974 novel, “The Last Days of Louisiana Red”.

  • Yes, but the meaning here is different. It’s particularly British, which is why I recorded it. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines it as “loiter in a bored or listless manner.”

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