1. (sporting, also bone-breaker) a large-calibre sporting rifle, used on large game.
|Belfast Commercial Chron. 6 May 4/1: Mr Augustus sent immediately to the bungalow for his rifle [...] it was a piece of the kind called in India a ‘bone-breaker’ [...] Having loaded it, he took deliberate aim at the alligator.|
|How I found Livingstone 63: African game require ‘bone-crushers’; for any ordinary carbine possesses sufficient penetrative qualities, yet has not the disabling qualities which a gun must possess, to be useful in the hands of an African explorer.|
2. (US, also bone-bender, bone-cracker) a wrestler; a powerful fist.
|Dundee Eve. Teleg. 26 May 4/2: The Dandy and the ‘Bone Crusher’ [...] ‘Take care, Captain [...] it’s the Birmingham Bone-Crusher!’.|
|Dict. Amer. Sl. 248: Bone bender [...] bone crusher, a wrestler.|
|Lancs. Eve. Post 22 May 1/1: Wrestling friday May 24th Tiger baxter v. Bone-Crusher Delaney.|
|Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).|
|Memphis-Nam-Sweden 170: Mike always wanted to arm wrestle [...] He had the biggest, most ‘bodacious’ hands I’d ever seen. Real bone-crackers.|
3. (US) a person who shakes hands forcefully; thus a powerful handshake.
|Death of a Citizen 12: I knew he was going to be a bone-crusher, and he was.|
|Flesh and Blood (1978) 172: Watch when you’re shaking hands [...] Some of these guys, they give you the bone-crusher.|
4. (US prison) a large knife.
|Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July [Internet] Bone Crusher: A particularly large prison weapon (shank).|
|(con. 1975–6) Steel Toes 37: I’m on the way to dig up my bonecrusher [...] A homemade sword. Eighteen inches of rebar filed down to a needle point. Club ’em or stab ’em, an excellent weapon.|
5. in drug contexts.
(a) a near-overdose in which the user feels as if the injection they have just taken is crushing their bones; thus bone-crushing adj.
|Another Day in Paradise 16: The more you use [heroin], the better it is. That doesn’t mean you won’t build up a bone-crushing tolerance.|
|Medical Anthropology 217: Additionally, used needles clog up, which slows the relief that drugs offer [...] a potential for ‘an unpleasant experience called a “bone-crusher”.’.|
(b) painful withdrawal symptoms.
|Homeboy 49: I’ve held off the bonecrushers two days, rationing that stuff.|
(c) crack cocaine.
|ONDCP Street Terms 4: Bonecrusher — Crack Cocaine.|
6. a prison guard who uses physical force.
|Indep. on Sun. Rev. 28 Jan. 12: Around ’Corcoran, he was known as ‘Bonecrusher’. ‘It’s a prison saying for the [guards] that use physical force [in removing fractious inmates from their cells]’, he says matter-of-factly.|