What does G-man mean?

A government agent

A G-man is a casual term used to describe a U.S. government agent, typically an FBI agent. The term has a pretty interesting backstory. It’s been around since the Roaring Twenties, the time of Prohibition, when notorious gangsters like Bugsy Siegel would use it in a derogatory way to refer to the government officials who were cracking down on their illegal activities.

However, the term has evolved over time and has lost its negative connotation. These days, it’s more of a neutral term for this job role. It’s frequently used in media, appearing in news reports, literature, films, and songs.

The term is mainly used to describe FBI agents, and you’ll often hear it used alongside the term ‘the feds’. For instance, in a movie scene about a drug raid, a character might exclaim, “G-man is on the way!

Example for using ‘G-man’ in a conversation

Hey, have you seen the latest crime show on TV?

Yeah, I love those kinds of shows! What’s it about?

It’s about this G-man who’s trying to catch a notorious gangster.

Oh, I see! So, the G-man is like a government agent, right?