Originally Posted by Ginger
"The Hooligan Nights" is a classic, and you really ought to read it, if you're at all interested in the Late Victorian demi-monde.
Bizarrely, the verb "to nark (on someone)" makes its appearance here, in 1899, no less, meaning exactly what it does today. I'd always held the unexamined assumption, as I'm sure that most of my generation did, that it derived from the practice of calling a narcotics officer a "narc". It's much older than that.
As you discovered, the original meaning of the slag word "nark" as in "narking" on someone, had nothing whatever to do with drugs, although as you say the present-day presumption is that it does have a link to drugs.
Christopher T. George
Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conference
just held in Baltimore, April 7-8, 2018.
For information about RipperCon, go to http://rippercon.com/
RipperCon 2018 talks can now be heard at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/