Green’s Dictionary of Slang

mugger n.1

[mug n.1 (1d)]

1. a blow in the mouth.

[UK]Egan Boxiana III 87: Oliver put in a mugger that made Donnelly stagger a little.
[UK]Tennyson Devil and the Lady (1930) III i 55: For every mugger thou shalt give me, I’ll lend thee ten and ten and ten to that.
[UK]Egan Boxiana 2nd Ser. II 404: Youna got a mugger that gave his upper-works a sort of electrical movement.

2. a street robber, orig. a garrotter.

[UK]R.S. Surtees Handley Cross (1854) 52: A great black and white hound, with a strong resemblance to a mugger’s mastiff.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Mr Sponge’s Sporting Tour 310: A nimble-handed mugger or tramp might have carried off whatever he liked.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Ask Mamma 432: A tinker, a poacher, a mugger, the veriest scamp would have been welcome, so long as he knew the country.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Plain or Ringlets? (1926) 267: It serves as a landmark [...] to tinkers, muggers, pic-nick-ers [...] farmers and wayfarers of all sorts.
[US]J.H. Browne Four Years in Secessia 340: The Muggers, like most bullies and ruffians, manifested a fine discrimination, respecting the party they attacked, selecting those they thought they could rob with little resistance and entire impunity .
[US]D. Runyon Runyon à la Carte 24: He is called by the name of Mike the Mugger because it seems his occupation is reaching out of doorways on dark nights and taking passers-by by the neck.
[US]F. Paley Rumble on the Docks (1955) 27: Street-walkers, muggers and jackrollers.
[US]C. Himes Rage in Harlem (1969) 55: The bar was jammed with...petty hustlers, sneak thieves, pickpockets, muggers, dope pushers.
[US]E. Bunker Animal Factory 52: Here were the underworld’s stunted failures, muggers, gutter junkies, gas station robbers.
[UK]S. Berkoff West in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 99: Now you dare not walk the streets at night / lest some unsavoury mugger.
[UK]J. Cameron Vinnie Got Blown Away 130: Gave it Mum he got mugged. Funny muggers went straight his Henry Halls.
[Ire]P. Howard The Joy (2015) [ebook] He’s sweating like a fuckin mugger in [a] line-up.
[US]W. Shaw Westsiders 34: It’s hard to imagine him as a mugger.
[US]A. Steinberg Running the Books 17: I shouldn’t dwell on the fact that the mugger had robbed me.

3. a thug.

[US]C. Himes Big Gold Dream (1969) 135: He had a mugger with him who’s been hanging on to him for the past few days.