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[sok-dol-uh-jer] /sɒkˈdɒl ə dʒər/
noun, Older Slang.
something unusually large, heavy, etc.
a decisive reply, argument, etc.
a heavy, finishing blow:
His right jab is a real sockdolager.
Origin of sockdolager
1820-30, Americanism; sock2 + -dolager, of uncertain origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for sockdolager


noun (slang, mainly US)
a decisive blow or remark
an outstanding person or thing
Word Origin
C19: of uncertain origin; perhaps from sock² + doxology (in the sense: the closing act of a church service) + -er1
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
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Word Origin and History for sockdolager

1830, "a decisive blow" (also, figuratively "a conclusive argument"), fanciful formation from sock (v.1) "hit hard," perhaps via a comical mangling of doxology, on a notion of "finality." The meaning "something exceptional" is attested from 1838.

Sockdologising likely was nearly the last word President Abraham Lincoln heard. During the performance of Tom Taylor's "Our American Cousin," assassin John Wilkes Booth (who knew the play well) waited for the laugh-line "Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, you sockdologising old man-trap." Amid the noise as the audience responded, Booth fired the fatal shot.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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