roughneck

[ ruhf-nek ]
/ ˈrʌfˌnɛk /

noun

a rough, coarse person; a tough.
any laborer working on an oil-drilling rig.Compare roustabout(def 4).

verb (used without object)

to work as a roughneck.

RELATED WORDS


Nearby words

  1. roughie,
  2. roughing mill,
  3. roughing-in,
  4. roughish,
  5. roughly,
  6. roughness,
  7. roughrider,
  8. roughshod,
  9. roughy,
  10. roul.

Origin of roughneck

An Americanism dating back to 1830–40; rough + neck

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for roughneck


British Dictionary definitions for roughneck

roughneck

/ (ˈrʌfˌnɛk) /

noun slang

a rough or violent person; thug
a worker in an oil-drilling operation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for roughneck

roughneck

n.

also rough-neck, 1836, "rugged individual," from rough (adj.) + neck (n.). Original context is the Texas frontier, later adpoted to labor organization toughs. Specific sense of "oil rig worker" is recorded from 1917. Cf. redneck.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper