Posted by ESC on November 12, 2004
There was a shake-up Wednesday in the upper levels of my work organization. A co-worker and I were talking about it and he questioned the transfer of one guy. He said, "He is one of their shoulder-strikers." He understood the term as one of their point men, etc. I said in West Virginia we just called those guys "thugs." Naturally, I looked it up:
Shoulder-hitter or shoulder-striker - noun. Mid-19th century. A bully, a ruffian. Literally "one who hits from the shoulder." From Cassell's Dictionary of Slang by Jonathon Green (Wellington House, London, 1998).