Green’s Dictionary of Slang

ramrod n.

[fig. use SE ramrod, ‘a rod used for ramming down the charge of a muzzle-loading fire-arm’ (OED)]

1. the penis [rod n. (1)].

[UK]Gentleman’s Bottle-Companion 8: He fill’d up the trench with a faggot of length, / And ramm’d in his charge with a ramrod of strength.
[UK]Burns ‘The Plenipotentiary’ Merry Muses of Caledonia (1965) 203: The Nymphs of the Stage did his ramrod engage.
[Ire] ‘The Manual Exercise’ Irish Ballads 2: She cried well performed my young Volunteer [...] Return you ram rod pray make no delay.
[UK]song title in Gentleman’s Private Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 380: The Ramrod and the Balls, or, Military Tactics.
[UK] ‘Toasts & Sentiments’ Gentleman’s Spicey Songster 48: Soldier’s demand a good piece, stiff ram-rod, and a clean touch hole.
[Aus]Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 4 Feb. 1/1: The Commissariat Wood-be swell known by the ladies as Ramrod will be noticed in our next.
[US] in T.P. Lowry Stories the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell (1994) 160: The Prince of Love, of which I spoke yesterday, alluding to the ‘ramrod and ballocks,’ even now larger, stiff and rising.
[UK]Farmer Vocabula Amatoria (1966) 27: Baguette, f. The penis; ‘the ramrod’.
[UK]Lustful Memoirs of a Young and Passionated Girl 25: She looked at his ram rod and seemed surprised to see its head dropping.
[US]H. Miller Tropic of Cancer (1963) 140: You know it’s [i.e. the vagina] there and all you think abut is getting your ramrod inside.
[US] in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) I 42: I layed her in the green grass to see if I could, / I pulled out my ramrod, my balls they played fair.
‘Troy Conway’ Cunning Linguist (1973) 131: I straddled her shoulders with my thighs, forced her head back with my hands, holding onto her ears and rammed my ramrod right down her wide-open, red-lipped mouth.
[US]S. King Cujo (1982) 111: Lost most of the old sperm factory over there in France [...] Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t. Might be fun to find out if I still got any ram left in my ramrod.
[US]C. Bukowski Pulp (2000) 134: We can talk afterwards... I got this ramrod here and I got to do something with it. I need flesh, not words!
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 229: [He] appears in the homosexual films ‘Ramrod Man,’ ‘Ramrod Boy,’ ‘Ramrod King,’ ‘Ramrod Stud,’ ‘Naughty Ramrod,’ & ‘Ramrod Rams It Home’.
[UK] 12 May [Internet] peter from Watford who was in Braintree back in 1984,that he kept reafuring it as a knob and keith called his a ram rod.

2. (also rod) a manager or leader, usu. a tough person or harsh disciplinarian.

[UK]R.B. Peake Comfortable Lodgings I i: Do you hear that, you old ramrod?
[US]‘Bill Nye’ Bill Nye and Boomerang 60: John Humpfner, the ram-rod of the New York House, feared that the explosion might break the large French plate glass windows of his palatial hotel.
[US]Out West June 624: The Rod he raised me to 30 dollars a month while the fall work was going on [DA].
[US]J.W. Carr ‘Words from Northwest Arkansas’ in DN III:i 92: ramrod, n. Mainstay, manager, superintendent. ‘He’s the ramrod of the concern.’.
[US](con. 1850s) J.M. Franks Seventy Years in Texas 73: The boss of the outfit was called the ‘ramrod’ or ‘rod’.
[Ire]‘Flann O’Brien’ At Swim-Two-Birds 65: I perceived a ramrod in a cloth cap on the watch at the corner.
[US]W.D. Overholser Buckaroo’s Code (1948) 26: When Red goes, I’ll need a ramrod, and I’m offering you the job.
[US]Randolph & Wilson Down in the Holler 277: There’s five fellers on the school board, but old man Burns is the ramrod.
[UK]L. Dunne Goodbye to The Hill (1966) 98: Those girls who came to work in Dublin were one of the main sources of sexual pleasure to the ramrods of Rathmines and Rathgar.
[US]C. Bukowski Erections, Ejaculations etc. 418: We simply do not HAVE the ramrods [...] who could knock us out of bed or keep us going in the dark pit of hell of the factories and the streets.
[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 229: Civil rights goups asked for new hearings under ex-Knapp ramrod Roy Goodman.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 226: The Warden brought in a new ramrod for S&I.
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 645: Bob Relyea worked the gig. Dwight Holly played ramrod. Wayne Senior ran ops.

3. a landlord.

[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor III 125/1: Clown hollows, ‘Now ramrod!’ meaning landlord.
[UK]Sporting Times 1 Apr. 3/2: It was part of the rent bundle, but the ramrod’ll have to wait.