noun: 1. a gun-carrying criminal
2. a tramp’s young intimate companion
Alteration of the Yiddish genzel (gosling) influenced by the word gun. Ultimately from the Indo-European root ghans- (goose), which also gave us goose, gosling, and gander. Earliest documented use: 1914.
Usage (from Wordsmith)
“An armored-car heist goes wrong, and the book’s antihero, Parker, is forced to hole up in a closed amusement park as he tries to duck a rabid pack of gunsels, kingpins, and crooked cops.”
Dana Jennings; Newly Released Books; The New York Times; Dec 26, 2013.