Green’s Dictionary of Slang

slugger n.

[slug v.2 (1)]

1. a fighter, professional or otherwise, esp. one who relies on brute force rather than skill for their conquests; a thug.

[US]Chicago Street Gazette 20 Oct. 1/4: [headline] Prospect of a Prize Fight Between Two Noted Coon Sluggers.
[US]Dodge City Times 30 Mar. in Miller & Snell Why the West was Wild 299: The one-armed slugger received a slight scratch under his left blinker.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 20 Oct. 14/2: Files is not a scientific boxer, but a slugger.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Mar. 14/3: Watching his opportunity, the literary slugger caught his adversary a tremendous blow on the knuckles with his own nose, and following up his opportunity he twisted his own hair round his opponent’s fist and dealt him half-a-dozen slinging blows on the left mauley with the tenderest part of his own stomach.
[US]M.D. Landon Eli Perkins: Thirty Years of Wit 296: I’m the celebrated slugger, I’m the beast.
[US]Ade ‘Smiling Isle’ in Verses and Jingles (1911) 22: We have no prize-fight sluggers, / No vaudevillian muggers.
‘Bad Bill’ in Truth (Sydney) 14 Sept. 5/5: Sydney sluggers, taken as a whole, are a modest, kindly, well-conducted body of men,.
[US]N.Y. Eve. Journal 7 Feb. n.p.: Barry was a tough slugger, but he lacks the class that Thomas has.
[US]H.G. van Campen ‘Our Theatrical Boarding House’ in L.A. Herald 10 Dec. 10/5: ‘We ain’t got no real sluggers any more’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 6 Aug. 26/1: I think restaurant-keepers who have an ex-professional slugger on their staff should be compelled to hang out a warning note – ‘Beware of the Pug!’.
[US]J. Lait ‘Charlie the Wolf’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 70: We’re dependin’ on him to hold down them sluggers from the quarry.
[US]H. Asbury Gangs of N.Y. 90: He [...] achieved great local reknown as a slugger and a rough and tumble fighter.
[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 68: Cyclone Tim dragged out two sets of brass knucks—weapon of suzerainty of the old time slugger.
[US]H. Asbury Barbary Coast (2002) 79: Enlisted under Broderick’s banner were many former Tammany heelers and sluggers.
C. Drew ‘The Unbeliever’ in Bulletin (Sydney) 13 June 50/1: [T]he drawcard was a heavy- weight we had christened Slugger Ryan after a scrapper who was makin’ a name for himself chinnin’ all-comers.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 645: ‘Let’s have it,’ said a fellow of the slugger type.
[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 34: The kind of slugger who could take care of two ordinary guys by himself.
[US]R. Chandler Long Good-Bye 292: There was a brief half-seen move at my side and a numbing pain in the point of my shoulder. [...] Menendez held his hand out towards the slugger. Without seeming to look he tossed the gun and Menendez caught it.
[US]B. Hecht Gaily, Gaily 195: Pickpockets, pimps, porch climbers, jack rollers, sluggers, heisters, and gunmen I had seen before court judges.
[US]C. Himes Blind Man with a Pistol (1971) 107: The serious fighting was being done by Coffin Ed and Grave Digger against the leather-coated troopers [...] and a number of other Black power sluggers.
[US](con. 1949) J.G. Dunne True Confessions (1979) 187: The two-fisted slugger from Bakersfield was wearing a robe lettered The Modesto Kid.
[US]A. Vachss Hard Candy (1990) 17: A slugger — no finesse.
[US]Source Nov. 43: Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, the famed slugger bought down by scandal.
[SA]IOL News 5 Dec. 🌐 Sluggers sure to pack a punch.

2. used as an affectionate term of address.

[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 27: I’ll see you, slugger.
[US]Jenkins & Shrake Limo 152: Stanley’s hand was outstretched. ‘Put it in the vise, slugger’.
[US]T. Jones Pugilist at Rest 141: I patch up junkies and alcoholic street bums and say, ‘Go out there and give ’em hell, slugger.’.

3. (US campus) a sexual success, a seducer.

[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 66: slugger n Male who easily makes sexual conquests with his dates.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 9: slugger – well-endowed male.