knuckle sandwich

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Cpl. Tommy Roque (right) landing a jab on Army Sgt. Toribio Ramirez at the 2012 Armed Forces Boxing Championship at Paige Fieldhouse, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, USA. The bout was won by Roque.

The term describes a person’s fist connecting with another person’s mouth, as if the latter were eating a sandwich.



knuckle sandwich (plural knuckle sandwiches)

  1. (slang) A punch to the face, especially to the mouth.
    • 1957, Jerome Chodorov; Joseph [Albert] Fields, Anniversary Waltz: Comedy in Three Acts, rev. edition, New York, N.Y.: Dramatists Play Service, Inc., OCLC 280985, page 20:
      OKKIE. (Raises his fist, kissing the knuckles menacingly—follows her to bottom of steps.) How would you like a knuckle sandwich?
    • 2002 April 7, Ira Berkow, “Sports of the times: A Babe Ruth myth is stirred up again”, in The New York Times[1], archived from the original on 27 May 2015:
      Rather than an embrace, the Babe [Babe Ruth] would most assuredly like to have given a knuckle sandwich to the executives of that candy corps. Or hit them over the head with his 42-ounce bat.
    • 2002, Tony Young; Dalton Higgins, “Cleft Palate/Harelip”, in Much Master T: One VJ's Journey, Toronto, Ont.: ECW Press, →ISBN, page 30:
      My brother Basil was probably the most protective of me. He would be willing to wallop anyone with a knuckle sandwich (knuckle sandwiches, not knives or guns, were big back then) who messed with me.