A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 13, 2019
Knuckle Sandwich (punch in the mouth)

A “knuckle sandwich” is, literally, a sandwich of knuckles (such a pig knuckles). The slang meaning of “knuckle sandwich” is a punch to someone’s face. Someone’s knuckles hit another’s mouth.

“Knuckle sandwich” was printed in the San Francisco (CA) Chronicle on August 19, 1940.


Wiktionary: knuckle sandwich
Etymology
The term describes a person’s fist connecting with another person’s mouth, as if the latter were eating a sandwich.
Noun
knuckle sandwich
(plural knuckle sandwiches)
1. (slang) A punch to the face, especially to the mouth.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
knuckle sandwich n. slang a punch in the mouth.
1973 A. Buzo Norm & Ahmed 12 He tried to hang one on me at Leichhardt Oval once, so I administered a knuckle sandwich to him.
1973 Ottawa Jrnl. 17 July 23/3 Give the guy a knuckle sandwich and let the teeth fall where they may.

19 August 1940, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, pg. 4H, col. 3 photo caption:
HOW’D YA LIKE A KNUCKLE SANDWICH, PARD?

30 November 1943, Hammond (IN) Times, “Speculating in Sports” by John Whitaker, pg. 9, col. 2:
“The senior Miller says that on at least ‘four or five occasions’ Crighton received a ‘knuckle sandwich’ from some of the other fellow, and in full view of one or more of the officials, yet nothing was done about it.

23 February 1945, The Journal-News (Nyack, NY), “Rounding Off on Sports” by George Mueller, pg. 7, col. 3:
The sergeant, who was a professional boxer, snapped: “Say that again, Fisher, and I’ll give you a knuckle sandwich.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Knuckle sandwich : growing up in the working-class city
Author: David Robins; Philip Cohen
Publisher: Harmondsworth ; New York : Penguin, 1978.
Series: Pelican books.
Edition/Format: eBook : Document : English

Google Books
Contemporary American Slang
By Richard A. Spears
Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Co.
1991
Pg. 124:
knuckle sandwich n. a blow struck in the teeth or mouth.

Urban Dictionary
knuckle sandwich
to administer a mouthful of fist; to punch someone in the face
you want a knuckle sandwich?
by Branid January 03, 2004

Google Books
The Art of the Knuckle Sandwich: Learning to Get Back Up When Life Knocks You Down
Ricky M. Hansen, Jr.
Createspace Independent Pub, 2013 - Self-Help - 124 pages

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, July 13, 2019 • Permalink