Hatchet man

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The term hatchet man has multiple definitions:

  • "Hatchetman" was originally a Pioneer or axeman serving in a US military unit.[1]
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, the phrase was used to describe a Chinese assassin who carried a handleless hatchet, which originated from New York's Doyers Street.[1][2]
  • In business, the term refers to a person tasked with implementing firings of personnel.[3]
  • The term 'hatchet man' is also used in football as a slang term to describe someone who tackles aggressively and sometimes unfairly, and in basketball (particularly in the past) as someone whose role is to retaliate against overly aggressive opposing players

Additionally, hatchet man may also refer to:


  1. ^ a b Oxford English Dictionary retrieved April 17, 2008.
  2. ^ "Early Advent of the Millennium Celebrated at Chu Gow's. But When a Waiter Dropped a Tray, Many Lights of the Tongs Ducked.". The New York Times. March 29, 1906. Retrieved 2009-02-22. 
  3. ^ "Business Definition for: hatchet man". AllBusiness.com. D&B. Retrieved 2010-05-27.