Student or Learner
Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am on the right track with my interpretation of the word in bold in the following brief excerpt from the IHT’s article “Bulgarian corruption troubling the European Union”
“The roots of Bulgaria's thriving organized crime date to the collapse of Communism in the early 1990s. The security forces imploded and thousands of secret agents and athletes, including wrestlers once supported and coddled by the state, were cast onto the street. During the United Nations embargo of warring Serbia in the 1990s, those groups seized smuggling opportunities and solidified their networks.
The wrestlers, in particular, developed private security forces and insurance companies that were little more than shakedown protection rackets.”
I know a few different meanings of the term in question:
- Slang. Extortion of money, as by blackmail.
- Slang. A thorough search of a place or person.
- A period of appraisal followed by adjustments to improve efficiency or functioning.
shakedown (a) = serving to test the performance of a ship or aircraft and to familiarize the crew with operation of the craft: a shakedown cruise; a shakedown flight.
I know about the difference between the shakedown cruise and maiden voyage.
The maiden voyage of a ship, aircraft or other craft is the first journey made by the craft after shakedown.
Would you be kind enough to help me to find the proper meaning of the present wod in the case before us?
I stake on “improvised” or “makeshift”.
Thank you for your efforts.
It's: Extortion of money, as by blackmail.
You can tell that from the context of the following "protection rackets".