Ron Burgundy: two-fisted puncher
Word Smith: Pugilist
Bare-Knuckle Gentlemen Settling a Quarrel
Pu·gi·list; noun \ ˈpyü-jə-list\
: a professional boxer
Full Definition of PUGILIST
: fighter, especially a professional boxer or prize fighter
Examples of PUGILIST
- “A pugilist is someone with the hallmark of the boxing ring: a nose that shows signs of having been broken on more than one occasion.”
- “A pugilist is someone who makes her or his living with their fists, first and foremost.”
First Known Use of PUGILIST
“The Knockdown” by Joe Sheppard
“The Ringside Boxing Show” by Joseph Sheppard
Related to PUGILIST
fighter, gladiator, prizefighter, pug, boxer, “sweet science” practitioner, palooka, stumblebum; bare-knuckle boxer, out-fighter, in-fighter, brawler, slugger, swarmer, counter-puncher; bantamweight, cruiserweight, featherweight, flyweight, lightweight, heavyweight, middleweight, super-heavyweight, welterweight.
“Decent from the Ring” by Joe Sheppard
Joe Sheppard artist
One artist, who lived in a quiet community of Baltimore County named Rockland in the 1950’s and 1960’s was Joe Sheppard. We were a few houses down Falls Road from Sheppard, and I learned from his paintings that he had a fascination with athletes, especially boxers. He had this one painting in his living room that I will never forget. It was of the back of a boxer, just after he finished his final blow to the face of his opponent. The near life-sized referee was giving the man lying prostrate on the mat the final count. The image was so powerful. As sometimes happens with memories, I could not find the picture in the Sheppard collection. It might be that the picture I saw was “Knockdown” above, which was painted in the same time-frame I recalled.
Sheppard was also a sculptor, who produced some fabulous images that show off the male anatomy in astonishing detail.
The Most Interesting Man
When thinking about taking out one’s anger against another human being, few feelings seem to cover the waterfront or the landscape the way a fist in the face does. The sentiment seems to come upon us from deep within our psyche, as if we were born with it. Even young girls seem to have urge to strike at those who frustrate her. Eventually, with the passage of time, the human sensibilities take over and the kinder, gentler person starts to emerge. In the nature and nurture debate, the soothing and nurturing culture tames the wild beast within us and civility becomes the dominant inner and outer characteristic of mankind.
And along with more civility comes more culture, and with more culture comes less tendency toward pugilistic behavior. In suit and tie land of the greater civilized world, men are such gentlemen! Right? Never would a wise man feel the need to raise his voice in anger, much less his fist in frustration or fury. Boxing is no longer the sweet science. It is not the way that anyone evens the score these days. We settle matters in court, where we bludgeon our opponents with the truth and the law.
Thank goodness that diplomacy is now the rule of the day!
As the following pictures tell so graphically, wherever you may travel in the world, it is all about artful nuance and skilled political diplomacy in modern society. We have elected officials, many of them trained in the art of diplomacy, who settle all matters confrontational with grace and aplomb. Who needs fists, when we have the silver haired speaker with his rapier wit and dulcet tones of compromise, right?