knuckle dragger

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A male gorilla, with knuckles on the ground


An allusion to the practice of some large primates of walking upright with their knuckles close to the ground.


knuckle dragger (plural knuckle draggers)

  1. (idiomatic, often derogatory) A large, strong, and rather dimwitted person.
    • 2008, Pat Hickey, "Prepare the Pulitzer," Chicago Daily Observer, 21 Dec. (retrieved 5 Jan. 2009):
      Mickey was wide receiver on the St. Rita Football Team in 2007—a big strapping, robust south side knuckle dragger and chick magnet.