hatchet man


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hatchet man

A person hired by a company to make sweeping changes to save money, usually by reducing staff. We knew our days were numbered when our company brought in a hatchet man to make cuts to the staff.
See also: hatchet, man

hatchet man

a man who does the cruel or difficult things for someone else; someone who does someone else's dirty work. He served as the president's hatchet man and ended up doing all the dirty work.
See also: hatchet, man

hatchet man

1. A person assigned or hired to carry out a disagreeable task or unscrupulous order. For example, When it came to firing an employee, Arthur was his boss's hatchet man. This expression originally referred to a hired assassin but in the mid-1900s was transferred to less nefarious enterprises.
2. A person who attacks the reputation of others, especially a journalist hired to do so, as in You can count on Mary's column to destroy the mayor-she's the perfect hatchet man. This usage gave rise to hatchet job, meaning "harsh destructive criticism." [Mid-1900s]
See also: hatchet, man
References in periodicals archive ?
Attempting to hog the limelight by bantering with Jason Gardiner, inarticulate Brazier warns the hatchet man that all his Essex mates are in the audience.
Makelele, either acting alone or as the designated hatchet man following discussions with a number of his team-mates, decided Chelsea would be better off with Wayne Bridge at left-back and decided to do something about it.
A midfield hatchet man in his days as a Sunday morning footballer, Wilson's recreational pursuits these days involve nothing more strenuous than bird-watching.
Impressive, too, is Michael Begley as Eaton Sylvester, Le Roux's hatchet man.
She knew that confrontation with the powerful and militant NUM would come about sooner or later and she had appointed Ian MacGregor, who had a reputation as an industrial hatchet man, as head of the Coal Board.
An and-Kennedy book by conservative hatchet man Victor Lasky soared to the top of The New York Times bestseller list, and Look magazine ran a feature headlined "JFK Could Lose.
Firmly rejecting the suggestion that he was a hatchet man, Dr Wolfgang Reitzle said: ``I am a team player and a car man.
POLICE are hunting a hatchet man who held three men hostage in Enniskillen on Friday night.
The longtime Kansas legislator, now Republican presidential nominee, has been known as Majority Leader in the Senate, as Beltway Insider, even as Richard Nixon's Hatchet Man.
Scientists Aided Soviet Atom Bomb Is Faulted," declared The Washington Post; even the Russian Intelligence Service, which replaced the KGB, moved quickly to denounce this revision of history by Sudoplatov, an old Stalinist hatchet man.
And the hatchet man for their dirty deeds is retiring Sen.
But Bassett knows just how much of a hatchet man Green can be after he was fired as Sheffield United boss during the new Rangers chief executive's first venture into football 17 years ago.
HOW nice to know that as I enter my sixth month of unemployment, hatchet man George Osborne has been enjoying a skiing holiday in Switzerland.
Paying millions to bring Ian McGregor the Hatchet Man from America to close down certain industries, the Falklands War, stopping free milk for school children, I could go on.
Out of the winning Tom Fool mare Bebopper, Stop The Music was a halfbrother to dual Grade 1 winner Hatchet Man.