One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A bare-knuckle fighter.‘I used to have a bit of a reputation as a grass fighter’
- ‘His shuffling gait was deceptive—he was as lithe and agile as a buck deer and a tough grass fighter.’
- ‘It was not infrequently an advantage to be a good grass fighter.’
- ‘Those were the bare-knuckle days, kinged over by the grim grass fighters.’
- ‘Brawlers and, you know, grass fighters—could they get these blood clots and things?’
- ‘He became known as the best grass fighter in the back country.’
- ‘The things most admired in a man were his abilities as a drinker, a grass fighter, a raconteur, and a worker.’
- ‘What's this about you being a great grass fighter, Grandfather?’
- ‘The former old-time star was a great grass fighter.’
- ‘He was something of a local grass fighter and much loved by all.’
- ‘He reckoned any good Australian grass fighter, fast on his feet, could skittle a man with a shillelagh in no time.’
Early 20th century: perhaps from a slang sense of the verb grass ‘to knock an adversary down’.
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