What Does “Good for a Heist” Mean?

marshall trimble ask the marshall true west magazine

At the Indian Hot Springs near Fort Thomas, people were given brass tokens that said “Good for a Heist.” What does that mean?

Frank Polzin
Colorado Springs, Colorado

The word “heist” was first used around 1865 and usually referred to a robbery. But I’ve heard it used as slang for “lift” or, as in a toast, “heist your glass.” So a token with “Good for a Heist” would mean “Good for one drink.”

bar tokens coins true west magazine
Bar tokens were not uncommon in the Old West, yet are prized by collectors today.
— Courtesy John Wagner Collection —

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen; The History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or email him at marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu.

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