Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hatchet n.

1. (US) the female genitals.

in R. Mitchell Vacant Chair (1993) 71: One soldier wrote home that ‘Some of the real women went, but the boy girls were so much better looking they left.[...] no one could hav [sic] told wich [sic] of the party had fell on a hatchet.’.
N.Y.U. student n.p.: Where the Injun hit her with the hatchet means her vagina [HDAS].

2. an ugly or debauched woman.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Hatchet, an unappealing woman; lacking in sex appeal.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (1984) 535: [...] ca. 1870–1920.
[US](con. 1890s) S.H. Adams Tenderloin 35: A lota those hatchets don’t get more than two dollars a throw.

3. see hatchet man

SE in slang uses

In compounds

hatchet job (n.)

1. (orig. US) a particularly vicious piece of criticism, slanderous gossip etc.

[US]Time 23 Oct. 20: Exuberant hatchet jobs were [...] done on Foster Dulles because of his Wall Street connections.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 28 June in Proud Highway (1997) 627: The Free Press gave a fat block of space to a venomous, lying hatchet-job on a book that deserved at least a truthful appraisal.
[US]J. Bouton Ball Four 371: ‘We thought it was going to be a real nice spread. [...] Then they did a hatchet job on us’.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 112: You’ll always find some little turd with a typewriter ready to do a hatchet job on you.
[UK]Guardian Guide 26 June–2 July 6: Broomfield [...] came up with a Courtney hatchet-job extraordinaire.
[UK]Observer Business 25 July 5: A blow by blow hatchet job.
V. Sobchack Carnal Thoughts 39: [...] performing its own surgery (a hatchetjob) on the middle-aged producer, director, and star.
[US]T. Dorsey Hurricane Punch 38: ‘Isn’t that your old friend?’ ‘Not after this hatchet job.’.
[US](con. 1954) ‘Jack Tunney’ Tomato Can Comeback [ebook] Save your hatchet jobs for senators from Wisconsin.

2. (US campus) a broken date.

[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L 1/2 60: hatchet job n 1: Broken date.
hatchet man (n.) (also hatchet) [SE hatchet man, a Chinese assassin, who uses a hatchet] (orig. US Und.)

1. a man who is used to punish, or even murder, selected victims on the orders of his boss; also in fig. use.

[A. Trumble Heathen Chinee 35: [The Tong] has police officers [...] and hatchet-men, or assassins, who put out of the way those upon whom the judgement of death has been pronounced.
[[US]O.O. McIntyre Day By Day in New York 17 Feb. [synd. col.] The tongs, those secret societies that ruled Chinatown by the law of the feud and the might of their hatchetmen, or executioners].
[US]Tennessean (Nashville, TN) 3 Feb. 7/3: Jake Bird [...] accused ‘hatchet-man’ was convicted today of assaulting Harold Stribling with a handaxe.
[US]J. Weidman Price Is Right 341: If you want to learn, ask your hatchet man to take you down for a lesson.
[UK]G. Lambert Inside Daisy Clover (1966) 133: And here’s the hatchet man.
[US]E. Bunker No Beast So Fierce 93: Stan’s eyes burned me — accused me of being Abe’s hatchet man.
[UK]J. Morton Lowspeak.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 281: That psychotic slug has sent his hatchet for a meet.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 28 May 40: He’s the child of a hatchet man and a heartless Sloane.

2. anyone who takes on, or is told to take on, unpleasant tasks, such as, in a company, firing members of staff, broaching distasteful but necessary topics etc.

[US]H.S. Thompson Hell’s Angels (1967) 69: The Angels considered him a valuable hatchet man.
[US]J. Ellroy Brown’s Requiem 35: How’s tricks, Fritzie? Still got the repo gig? Hatchet man for Cal Myers?

3. a person who is willing to perform a hatchet job in support of a cause or political party.

So. Weekly 23 Mar. 1/1: Truman’s hatchetman [...] announces that he is sending organizing teams into the South to work for the defeat of Congressmen and Senators who oppose the Truman-CIO legislative program [DA].
[US]Senator W.F. Mondale debate 15 Oct. n.p.: Dole has richly earned his reputation as a hatchet man tonight.
[US]J. Wambaugh Finnegan’s Week 124: Those slippery Republican hatchet men.
hatchet thrower (n.) [Hispanic ‘Indians’ were equated with Native Americans]

(US black) a derog. term for a Spanish-speaking man living in Harlem.

[US] ‘Jiver’s Bible’ in D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.

In phrases

throw the hatchet (v.)

to tell lies, to exaggerate note adj. in cit. 1789.

[UK]G. Parker Life’s Painter 94: This is a fault which many of good understanding may fall into, who, from giving way too much to the desire of telling anecdotes, adventures and the like, habituate themselves by degrees to a mode of the hatchet-flinging extreme.
[Ire]Spirit of Irish Wit 152: Oh come, Charley,’ said Moore, who smelled a hoax, ‘you are flinging the hatchet quite too far’ .
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 254: There is nothing creeping or throwing the hatchet about this description.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 94: He who lies roundly ‘throws the hatchet.’.
[UK]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 9 July 605/1: [T]the Duke generally has his jawing-tack on board, and, like Major Longbow, he is an adept at throwing the hatchet .
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict. 33: Throw the hatchet, to – to tell a marvellous story, or a lie, and swear its [sic] true.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 14 Feb. 3/3: However heavily they ‘throw the hatchet,’* (note *Telling a monstrous lie) every ‘Sam tumbles to the dodge’ (every clown perceives the imposture.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn).
[UK]Era (London) 11 Jan. 12/1: A giant boy [...] warranted to weigh thierty-five stone (how these showmen can ‘throw the hatchet’).
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[UK]P.H. Emerson Signor Lippo Ch. xx: We had to call her mother, and, if anyone stopped, she’d sling the hatchet to them, and tell them she was a poor lone widow left with five children.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 24 July 4/8: The clubmen round at Tattersall’s can also heave the hatchet.
[UK](con. WWI) Fraser & Gibbons Soldier and Sailor Words 261: Sling The Hatchet, To: To talk plausibly [sic].