1. tough, mean, unpleasant.
|Philosophy 4 20: ‘The duality, or multiplicity, of the ego.’ ‘The hard-boiled ego,’ commented the boy with the ruler.|
|letter in Dear Folks at Home (1919) 4: Gun-totin’, rip-roarin’, son-of-gun of a hard-boiled Marine that I am.|
|Gay-cat 235: Oh, he’s hard-boiled, thet kid [...] He’s bin workin’ with a nortorious [sic] yegg afore this.|
|Flirt and Flapper 57: Flapper: Some of our Grannies are as hard-boiled as us.|
|Edinburgh Eve. News 6 Sept. 2/5: Music is a passion with these hard-boiled miners and factory workers.|
|Red Wind (1946) 213: A hard-boiled redhead sang a hard-boiled song in a voice that could have been used to split firewood.‘Guns At Cyrano’s’ in|
|Mass-Observation Report on Juvenile Drinking 11: Blacks, sailors, soldiers (Canadian and American) frequent this pub. Women mostly 30–40, hard-boiled types.|
|Savage Night (1991) 66: Tell me you haven’t been leading me on, acting hardboiled and easy to get.|
|Run Man Run (1969) 95: Don’t talk so vulgarly [...] You’re always trying to be hard-boiled.|
|Dict. of Invective (1991) 366: A soft-boiled fellow is easygoing, naïve, or impractical, in contrast to a tough, hard-boiled type.|
|Guardian Guide 29 May–4 June 63: Chandler fell under the influence of Dashiell Hammett, modelling his hard-boiled, gun-toting sleuth on Hammett’s Sam Spade.|
|From Lowbrow to Nobrow 140: The 1950s did mark the twilight of the hardboiled tradition.|
2. (US) used as intensifier.
|Eve. Statesman (Walla Walla, WA) 5 Mar. 3/2: Remarking that Blinks has Jinks [...] beat to a frazzle, or a hard-boiled frazzle.|
SE in slang uses
a stiff, starched, detachable collar.
|Arrowsmith 55: I will not put on a hard-boiled collar! I won’t!|
|Savage Night (1991) 83: He was all duked out in a hard-boiled collar and a blue serge suit.|
(US) a stiff hat.
|Arizona Champion 16 May 3/2: Bob, that hard boiled hat will have to be dispensed with if you intend to live in Winslow.|
|Arizona Champion 10 Mar. 4/1: Hard boiled hats were at a discount Wednesday evening. Several dudes lost their starched tiles in a game of football.|
|Mohave County Miner 10 June 3/3: Jack Poland distinguished himself [...] by shaving off hi whiskers and donning a hard-boiled hat.|
|Log of a Cowboy 127: That fellow in front of the drug store over there, with the hard-boiled hat on.|
|DN IV:ii 165: hard-boiled hat, n. Derby?‘Further Word-List – Arizona’ in|
|Torchy, Private Sec. 178: From a hasty glimpse at the hard-boiled lid and the man’s collar [...] I thought it was some chappy.|
|Lookout Man 95: One is one of them schoolma’ms that goes around in a boiled shirt and a hard-boiled hat.|
|Cowboy 106: The Range knew that the city-dwellers wore also ‘hard’ or ‘hard-boiled’ hats.|
|House Detectives 100: Pictures typed the house officer as a poker-faced joker wearing a hard-boiled hat, a suspicious scowl and a well-gnawed cigar butt [HDAS].|
(US) a stiff, starched detachable shirt front.
|Enemy to Society 158: Mostly they wore hard-boiled shirts, originally white, creased of bosom, unclean of cuffs.|
|Tacoma Times (WA) 10 July 4/4: Every guy what gets into the blow-out has to doll up in a hard-boiled chest protector.|
|Dundee Courier 27 June 4/5: A multi-millionaire is obliged to put on a hard-boiled shirt every evening.|
|Caste 300: Outwardly neat in a blue serge suit, [...] a black satin tie with a pearl pin, a hard-boiled shirt, and shoes.|
|One-Way Ride 86: He remained hard-boiled even in a hard-boiled shirt.|
|Foundry 406: A white shirt with a hard-boiled front.|