Posted by Masakim on July 21, 2003

In Reply to: Haymaker posted by ESC on July 21, 2003

: : Why are big punches called "Haymakers"? As I can't find any link whatsoever.

: From Listening to America: An Illustrated History of Words and Phrases from Our Lively and Splendid Past by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982): "haymaker, for a knockout punch, appeared in 1912, perhaps from the 1880 'hit the hay,' go to sleep."

From "Dictionary of American Slang with Supplement" by Harold Wentworth & Stuart Berg Flexner (Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1967): "Orig. a boxing term. Since c1910. From "make hay" + "the hay" = sleep, unconsciousness."

From Dictionary of American Slang by Robert L. Chapman (HarperCollins Publishers, 1995): "probably fr[om] the wide swinging stroke of a scythe in cutting hay"

One of those ... fellows is going to get the "haymaker" over on your jaw. ("National Police Gazette," Mrch 24, 1906)

If a prizefighter is supposed to have a haymaking punch in his left hand.... (Christopher Mathewson,"Pitching in a Pinch," 1912)