One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A forceful blow.
- ‘His talent was delivering sockdolagers with his rifle butt.’
- ‘Get busy, fellows, and let them have something in return for these two sockdolagers.’
2An exceptional person or thing.
- ‘Nothing would suit me better than to pull in some of the sockdolagers you'll find in that lake.’
- ‘Here was another sockdolager; for, when I began to think about it, I could not remember a thing in the Constitution that authorized it.’
- ‘A knock on the head with a stick stilled him, and I had one of the genuine "sockdolagers" of the Indian Lake as my captive.’
Mid 19th century: probably a fanciful formation from sock.
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