1. [late 16C–mid-19C; 1930s+] (later use US black) the penis.
2. [late 18C] the testicles.
3. [19C] (also hammer man) a strong puncher.
4. [late 19C+] a bodyguard, a thug.
5. [1960s+] (US black) a woman’s thigh.
6. [1970s+] (US) the accelerator; thus put the hammer down or drop the hammer, to accelerate.
7. [2000s] (Irish) a turn, e.g. take a right-hand hammer.
8. (US black) a gun, thus knock hammers, to fire weapons.
[2010s] (US) the fast lane.
[late 18C] a womanizer.
SE in slang uses
[1920s–50s] (US) the penis.
see separate entries.
[1920s–70s] (US black) an authoritarian figure.
[early 19C] a boxing school.
see under down adv.2
1. [1970s+] (orig. US) to take decisive action (against).
2. [1980s] to shoot.
3. [2000s] to humiliate.
[1930s+] (US) a phr. used to inquire about someone’s state of well being; the typically facetious answer being: ‘A little to the left and in the dirt’.
1. [1940s+] to take decisive action.
2. [1960s+] to demand money.
3. [1980s+] to attack verbally, to slander.
4. (also put the hammer to) to pressurize.
[1940s] (US) to beat up.
see swing the lead under swing v.
[1910s] ideal, perfect, exactly what is wanted.
[1950s+] in trouble, at a disadvantage.
[1950s] an excl. of surprise or disappointment.
[1910s-40s] (US) a dismissive excl, suggesting that a speaker stop complaining and start offering praise.