1902, of uncertain origin, possibly from German Fink "a frivolous or dissolute person," originally "finch;" the German word also had a sense of "informer" (cf. stool pigeon). The other theory traces it to Pinks, short for Pinkerton agents, the private police force hired to break up the 1892 Homestead strike. As a verb, 1925 in American English slang. Related: Finked; finking.