Green’s Dictionary of Slang

slug v.2

[slug n.2 (1)]

1. to hit hard; often ext. as slug it out.

[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 13 Dec. 2/2: Harrigan still maintaining his advantage, returned to the old place, [...] delivering a few slugging hits upon the body and head.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 5 Oct. n.p.: As soon as he was ‘cop’d’ he ‘slugged’ the officer.
[US]G.W. Peck Peck’s Bad Boy and His Pa (1893) 261: He won’t be at the slugging match.
N.Z. Tablet 10 Oct. 7/2: When anyone catches me talking slang, he is especially invited to slug me in the seventh rib.
[UK]M. Davitt Leaves from a Prison Diary I 125: His prison talk is generally of all the people he has ‘slugged’ (beaten).
[US]World (NY) 19 May 15/1: It would seem that Mike has effectually put the kibosh on adverse public opinion. Has Mike done this, or have the big Detroit sluggers slugged him out of a hole?
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 27 July 7/4: ... to allow a bigger man of the fallen one’s side [...] slugging the shoulderer over.
[US]S. Crane Maggie, a Girl of the Streets (2001) 22: An’ den I slugged ’im. See?
[US]E.W. Townsend Chimmie Fadden 8: Say, Id a slugged de whole gang of dose farmers.
[US]A.H. Lewis Boss 59: Unless they stop to slug with you, don’t put a hand on ’em.
[UK]T.W.H. Crosland ‘Hospital’ in Five Notions 34: It’s Tommy this an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Mind an’ slug the Boer!’.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 11 Sept. 1/1: The aggressor in the slugging match was the dad of a dashing damsel who taught Scripture.
[US] ‘Madge The Society Detective’ in Roberts et al. Old Sleuth’s Freaky Female Detectives (1990) 106/1: She slugged me [...] And then she slugged Bob. We both went down. I’m ashamed to confess it, boss, but that woman has got a punch like a Missouri mule.
[US]S. Ford Shorty McCabe on the Job 61: Slug the clubbers! [...] Knock their blocks off! Go to it, old man!
[UK]Eve. Dispatch (London) 26 June 4/2: It was a toe-to-toe slugging match.
[US]R. Lardner ‘A Frame-Up’ in Coll. Short Stories (1941) 425: ‘Cut loose and slug’ Nate told him.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 186: Whenever I didn’t answer the way they wanted [...] they took turns at slugging me.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Breach of Promise’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 28: This [...] causes her to slug Mr. Jabez Tuesday on the bean.
C.B. Yorke ‘Snowbound’ in Gangster Stories Oct. n.p.: The guy who’d tried to slug me hit the floor with his face.
[US]V.F. Nelson Prison Days and Nights 152: He was [...] spending most of his time in the disciplinary cottage and getting what we called ‘slugged’ (that is, whipped on the bare buttocks, with a piece of rubber hose, by a very strong official).
[UK]P. Cheyney Dames Don’t Care (1960) 64: Some jane slugged him with a car spanner.
[US]J.K. Butler ‘Saint in Silver’ in Goulart (1967) 65: The same bum that slugged me.
[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 87: He always felt better when he was [...] slugging it out with some guy.
[US]N.Y. World-Telegram and Sun 20 Aug. n.p.: In the latest outbreak of teen terrorism, a 15-year-old girl was shot and her boyfriend was slugged with a lead pipe.
[US]‘Blackie’ Audett Rap Sheet 103: Green slugged the warden’s secretary with a gun butt.
[US](con. 1950) E. Frankel Band of Brothers 175: Punch-drunk fighters on either side, slugging it out.
[US]C. Himes Crazy Kill 76: More folks getting robbed, slugged and stabbed to death [...] than usual.
[US](con. 1940s) M. Dibner Admiral (1968) 26: It was too damn bad they had not stayed and slugged it out with the Jap.
[US]I. Rosenthal Sheeper 21: Not long ago someone really slugged me (breaking my jaw).
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 45: It was as if a giant fist had slugged the breath from us all.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 251: Will Dinky appear again and slug my handsome Robbie Swindon?
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 76: Then he slugs me in the stomach and tells me to get my butt out of the boat.
[US]P. Beatty White Boy Shuffle 123: Psycho Loco came through, slugging some fool for stepping on his shadow.
[UK]N. Barlay Curvy Lovebox 114: I slugged him in the mouth.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 23 July 23: Bad guys slugged broads.
[UK]Guardian Guide 1–6 Jan. 90: Two bikini-clad female contenders slugging it out in a ring filled with chocolate pudding.
[US]‘Touré’ Portable Promised Land (ms.) 39: Per some accounts, Katherine slugged Josephine.
[US]K. Huff A Steady Rain I iii: And no way Denny had to slug Connie like that to settle the argument, either.
[SA]Mail & Guardian 13 Apr. [Internet] [headline] ‘Mdluh cops bugged Cele!’: Security chiefs slug it out.
[UK]Guardian 4 Oct. [Internet] Axelrod said the president had not wanted the debate to turn into a slugfest.

2. to criticize harshly.

[UK]H. Nisbet Bushranger’s Sweetheart 118: We are [...] going in for the slugging of books [...] we have ruined one or two well-known authors.
[US]R. Atkinson Long Gray Line (1990) 61: Egregious offenders [...] were ‘slugged’. That meant demerits.

3. in fig. use, to overcome.

[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 184: There was a far deeper expression of pleasure on his face [...] than there had been [...] when he was slugging Shag Shaughnessy’s faro layout.

4. (also slug around) in fig. use, to dispute aggressively; often ext. as slug it out.

[US]S. Crane in N.Y. Press Nov. in Stallman (1966) 105: The people lost their liberty because they went to sleep. Then [...] they wake up and slug around and surprise all the men who thought they were in a trance.
[US]Time 10 May 98: Twice it screens exciting action: once when the sub slugs it out with a disguised German raider.
[US]L. Uris Battle Cry (1964) 22: You always went back and slugged it out.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 364: Hitting and elbowing and kneeing and scratching and off sides and on sides and slugging it out.
[UK]Guardian Guide 15–21 May 69: Two American guests slugging it out over the burning issues of the day.
[UK]Guardian G2 14 Jan. 13: Representatives of the two companies could be isolated [...] to slug it out.

5. in fig. use of sense 1 .

[US]Chicago Trib. 12 June 4/5: Coffee Slugs Even harder than a Prize Fighter. A newspaper man is subject to trials and tribulations [...] Coffee ‘slugs’ a great many of them.
[Aus]Western Champion (Qld) 12 Dec. 3/1: There was a barmaid sluggin’ the pump.

6. to shoot.

Jackson Dly News (MS) 1 Apr. 7/2: Crook Chatter [...] ‘Shooting, paradoxically enough, is “slugging”’.
[US]E. Booth Stealing Through Life 256: Remember his caper? Slugged two coppers; his partner was topped.
[US]O. Strange Sudden 73: If the dust in them two pokes ain’t exactly sim’lar, Luce didn’t slug Evans.
[US]Fortune Feb. 122: Guns slugging at close range.
[UK]H. Brown Walk in Sun 48: They slugged one into his leg at Mareth.

7. (US) to trudge, to move with an effort, to make an effort; thus slugging adj.

[UK]V. Palmer Passage 63: Patient, slugging work was what he put his trust in.
[US]Reader’s Digest Nov. 62: He was always slugging away at novel writing on the side.
[US](con. 1940s) M. Dibner Admiral (1968) 107: We’ll slug our way through.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 7: We saddled up our rucksacks and slugged off into the deepest, baddest part of the Goongone Forest.

8. to kill, to murder.

[US]N. Algren ‘American Obituary’ in Entrapment (2009) 39: Frank Mears, no address, slugged for ninety cents.
[US]W. Winchell ‘On Broadway’ 5 May [synd. col.] Mrs. Dutch Schultz didn’t get herself slugged for allegedly slandering a comrade killed with Dutch . . . She almost got slugged.

9. (Aus.) to overcharge.

[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl. 68: Get slugged, to be charged excessively.
[Aus]A. Marshall These Are My People (1957) 141: ‘How much do you slug ’em a week?’ ‘I get paid so much an article.’.
[NZ]B. Crump Hang On a Minute, Mate (1963) 120: Uncle Wally noticed that the new boundary fence our neighbour had slugged him half the costs of was about six feet on Uncle Wally’s side of the survey pegs.
[Aus]S. Maloney Big Ask 19: Makes you wonder how the government’s union cronies will react to attempts to slug their members.

10. (US) to apply, to dose.

[US](con. 1945) G. Forbes Goodbye to Some (1963) 84: ‘When you slug too much morphine in there, you go into shock?’ There is a wail of derisive laughter.

In derivatives

slugfest (n.) [-fest sfx]

(US) a rough battle, a hard-hitting contest.

News Jrnl (Mansfield, OH) 9 Sept. 3/5: The baltimore pitcher [...] was credited with a home run, double and single in Friday’s slugfest.
[US]N.Y. Press 18 Apr. in Fleming Unforgettable Season (1981) 43: The National League’s first slug-fest of 1908 turned up this afternoon.
[US]Nebraska State Journal 27 July 3/1: [heading] Denver wins in slugfest .
Salt lake Telegram (UT) 31 Oct. 5/3: Boxing fans will be treated to an old time slugfest at the Manhattan Club [...] tonight.
[US]O.O. McIntyre New York Day by Day 23 May [synd. col.] Bustanoby’s [...] was another generating ground for slugfests, usually college boys.
[US]B. Appel People Talk (1972) 385: The Big Slug Fest Smoker.
[US]Naugatuck Dly Times (CT) 8 Nov. 8/5: Some of General Hodges’ Yank soldiers [...] are fighting a grim to to toe slugfest in Hurtgen forest.
[US]H. Whittington Forgive Me, Killer (2000) 27: He sat in a bar, got drunk, went up to see her, they had a slug fest and he —.
Morn. Call (Allentown, PA) 4 Aug. 17/3: The Cincinnati reds outhit the Philadelphia Phillies [...] in one of the wildest slugfests in many years.
[US](con. WWII) T. Sanchez Hollywoodland (1981) 186: Slugfests between zoots and sailors.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘Russian Blackie’ in Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1998) 103: Ready for a slug-fest or to simply belt someone for the hell of it.
[US]Source Oct. n.p.: His early films were often no more than slugfests.
[Can]Winnipeg Sun 18 July [Internet] Darryl Wolski has scored another potential knock out for his upcoming Hockey Gladiator slugfest. The Brandon promoter has inked a deal [...] to carry the double knock-out hockey fighting tournament.
[US]Paducah Sun (KY) 20 Mar. B2/2: Kelso pitched quite a gem for Calloway County at the Marshall County Slugfest.
sluggy (adj.)

(US teen) violent, aggressive.

[US]H. Ellison Web of the City (1983) 50: He would carve that sluggy sonofabitch from gut to kisser.