knuckle sandwich

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English[edit]

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.

Etymology[edit]

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

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

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 978-1-55022-541-9, 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.