hard guy n.
1. (US, also hard one) a criminal character, a ‘tough guy’.
|Susan Lenox II 141: Terry was a ‘hard one’.|
|AS VIII:3 (1933) 27/2: HARD GUY. 1. Prisoner, officer, guard, or anyone else who is unquestionably hard-boiled. 2. Professional criminal or his understudy.‘Prison Dict.’ in|
|New York Day by Day 20 Dec. [synd. col.] The house policemen are hard guys who are impervious to sympathy.|
|(con. 1910s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 22: They were hard guys.Young Lonigan in|
|Amboy Dukes 39: Are you supposed to be a hard guy?|
|Playback 86: Well, well. Mr. Hard Guy in person.|
|San Diego Sailor 3: It would be easier in the Navy to tag along with the rest of the hard guys.|
|Digger’s Game (1981) 25: I’m up the hundred two hard guys cost me.|
|A Day at the Beach (1992) 115: Here are the hard guys, Billy Badass and his gang.‘At the Fair’ in|
|Michael Bloomfield 40: Paul was very quiet and defensive and hard-edged. He was this tough Irish Catholic, kind of a hard guy.|
|Rough Riders 62: White investment bankers [...] brokering for Vegas hard guys.|
2. attrib. use of sense 1.
|Wine, Women and War (1926) 310: Still playing hard-guy old timer to bunkies.diary 20 Jan. in|
|Blues for the Prince (1989) 141: Lay off the hard-guy stare, Manny.|
|Permanent Midnight 76: The hard guy thespian’s rigorous personal standards.|
3. (US campus) a difficult person.
|Campus Sl. Nov. 5: hard guy – a nuisance, a pain to be around.|