Top 50 Slang For Fighting – Meaning & Usage

Fighting is a universal concept that has its own language, and understanding the slang associated with it can give you an edge in the ring. From knuckle sandwich to throwing hands, we’ve got you covered with the top slang for fighting. So whether you’re a seasoned fighter or just curious about the lingo, buckle up and get ready to learn some new words that will have you feeling like a true fighter.

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1. Gank

Gank is a term used to describe the act of ambushing or overwhelming someone with a group of people. It is often used in gaming communities to describe unfair or unsportsmanlike tactics.

  • For example, in a multiplayer game, a player might complain, “They keep ganking me every time I respawn!”
  • In a discussion about online gaming, someone might say, “Ganking is a common strategy in PvP (player versus player) combat.”
  • A gamer might boast, “I just ganked three enemies by myself!”

2. Beef

Beef is a slang term that refers to a conflict or disagreement, typically with the potential for physical confrontation. It is often used to describe ongoing or unresolved issues between individuals or groups.

  • For instance, someone might say, “They have a lot of beef with each other, it’s been going on for years.”
  • In a conversation about rivalries, a person might mention, “The beef between those two gangs is escalating.”
  • A friend might ask, “Did you hear about the beef between those two celebrities?”

3. Brawl

A brawl is a term used to describe a physical fight involving multiple people. It often implies a chaotic and uncontrolled altercation.

  • For example, someone might say, “There was a massive brawl at the bar last night, chairs were flying everywhere!”
  • In a discussion about sports, a fan might reminisce, “That game turned into a brawl after a controversial call.”
  • A witness to a fight might describe it as, “It was an all-out brawl, fists were flying from every direction!”

4. Scrap

Scrap is a slang term that means to engage in a physical fight. It is often used to describe spontaneous or impromptu fights.

  • For instance, a person might say, “He got into a scrap with a stranger on the street.”
  • In a conversation about schoolyard fights, someone might share, “I used to scrap with bullies when I was a kid.”
  • A friend might ask, “Have you ever been in a scrap before?”

5. Donnybrook

Donnybrook is a term used to describe a chaotic and violent fight. It often implies a lack of control or order during the altercation.

  • For example, someone might say, “The protest turned into a donnybrook, with clashes between protesters and police.”
  • In a discussion about historical battles, a person might mention, “The Battle of Gettysburg was a bloody donnybrook.”
  • A witness to a fight might describe it as, “It was a complete donnybrook, people were swinging wildly and chaos ensued!”

6. Brouhaha

This term refers to a noisy and chaotic fight or argument. It is often used to describe a large-scale fight involving multiple people.

  • For example, “The bar erupted into a brouhaha after a disagreement between two patrons.”
  • A witness might say, “I saw a brouhaha break out at the protest, with people throwing punches.”
  • In a news report, a journalist might describe a political debate as a “brouhaha” when it turns into a physical altercation.

7. Throw Down

This slang refers to initiating or starting a fight. It can also be used to describe the act of challenging someone to a fight.

  • For instance, “He threw down his gloves and started swinging.”
  • In a heated argument, someone might say, “If you don’t back off, I’m going to throw down right here.”
  • A character in a movie might say, “I’m tired of your insults. Let’s throw down and settle this.”

8. Womp Up

To “womp up” means to physically assault or beat someone up. It implies a forceful and aggressive attack.

  • For example, “He got womped up pretty bad in that fight.”
  • A witness might say, “I saw a group of guys womping up on another guy in the alley.”
  • In a conversation about self-defense, someone might say, “If you’re in danger, you need to be prepared to womp up on your attacker.”

9. Bop

This slang term refers to throwing a quick and usually light punch. It can also be used to describe a series of quick punches.

  • For instance, “He bopped him on the nose.”
  • In a boxing match, a commentator might say, “He’s throwing a series of bops to his opponent’s body.”
  • A person might say, “If someone gets in my face, I’m not afraid to bop them.”

10. Blow Up

To “blow up” means to get into a fight or engage in a physical altercation. It can also be used to describe a situation where a small disagreement escalates into a full-blown fight.

  • For example, “They blew up after a heated argument.”
  • A witness might say, “I saw them blow up in the parking lot, throwing punches.”
  • In a discussion about conflict resolution, someone might say, “Sometimes it’s better to walk away rather than let a situation blow up.”

11. Slugfest

A slugfest is a physical fight or brawl characterized by heavy and powerful punches being thrown by both participants. It usually involves a prolonged and intense exchange of blows.

  • For example, “The two boxers engaged in a brutal slugfest that lasted for 12 rounds.”
  • In a street fight, someone might say, “It turned into a slugfest with punches flying from both sides.”
  • A sports commentator might describe a hockey game as a slugfest when there are multiple fights on the ice.

12. Scuffle

A scuffle refers to a brief and disorderly fight or physical altercation. It is often characterized by pushing, shoving, and grappling rather than throwing punches.

  • For instance, “A scuffle broke out between two fans after a heated argument.”
  • In a crowded bar, someone might say, “There was a scuffle near the entrance, and the bouncers had to intervene.”
  • During a protest, clashes between protesters and law enforcement can sometimes escalate into scuffles.
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13. Throw hands

To throw hands means to engage in a physical fight using one’s fists. It is a slang term commonly used to describe a spontaneous or impromptu fight.

  • For example, “The two rivals decided to throw hands and settle their differences.”
  • In a schoolyard fight, a witness might say, “They were throwing hands like there was no tomorrow.”
  • A friend might jokingly challenge another by saying, “You wanna throw hands? Let’s see who wins!”

14. Battle it out

To battle it out means to engage in a fierce and intense fight or confrontation. It implies a prolonged struggle between two or more parties, often with a high level of determination and effort.

  • For instance, “The two fighters entered the ring ready to battle it out for the championship.”
  • In a heated argument, someone might say, “If you disagree with me, let’s battle it out and see who’s right.”
  • During a competition, two teams might battle it out for the top spot.

15. Wrestle

Wrestle refers to the act of engaging in a physical fight or contest that involves grappling, holds, and maneuvers to gain control over an opponent. It is a combat sport and form of entertainment.

  • For example, “The two wrestlers stepped onto the mat and prepared to wrestle.”
  • In a backyard wrestling match, someone might say, “They’re going to wrestle for the title of backyard champion.”
  • A fan of professional wrestling might say, “I love watching the wrestlers perform incredible moves in the ring.”

16. Spar

Spar refers to a practice fight or a friendly bout between two individuals to improve their fighting skills. It is often done in a controlled environment with protective gear.

  • For example, a martial arts student might say, “I sparred with my training partner today to work on my technique.”
  • During a boxing training session, a coach might say, “Let’s pair up and spar for a few rounds.”
  • A fighter preparing for a competition might mention, “Sparring helps me simulate real fight scenarios and sharpen my reflexes.”

17. Exchange blows

Exchange blows means to trade punches with someone during a fight or altercation. It implies a back-and-forth exchange of physical blows.

  • For instance, during a heated argument, two individuals might exchange blows.
  • In a boxing match, commentators might describe the action as, “Both fighters are exchanging blows in the center of the ring.”
  • A witness to a street fight might say, “I saw them exchange blows before the police arrived.”

18. Clash

Clash refers to a violent confrontation or a physical fight between two or more individuals. It implies a clash of physical force or aggression.

  • For example, two rival gangs might clash in a street brawl.
  • In a sports context, a commentator might say, “The players clashed in a fierce tackle.”
  • A witness to a fight might describe it as, “There was a clash between two groups outside the bar.”

19. Throw punches

Throw punches means to engage in physical combat by throwing punches at someone. It implies an aggressive and physical confrontation.

  • For instance, during a bar fight, two individuals might throw punches at each other.
  • In a self-defense class, the instructor might demonstrate how to throw punches effectively.
  • A witness to a street fight might say, “They were throwing punches left and right.”

20. Beat down

Beat down refers to severely defeating someone in a fight or physical altercation. It implies a one-sided and overwhelming victory.

  • For example, in a boxing match, one fighter might deliver a series of powerful punches and ultimately beat down their opponent.
  • A witness to a street fight might say, “He got completely beat down by the other guy.”
  • In a metaphorical sense, someone might say, “The team’s star player was injured, and they got beat down by their opponents.”

21. Take a swing

This phrase means to physically attack someone by throwing a punch. It is often used to describe an act of aggression or starting a fight.

  • For example, “He got angry and took a swing at the other guy.”
  • In a heated argument, someone might say, “If you don’t back off, I’ll take a swing at you.”
  • A witness to a fight might describe it as, “I saw two guys take a swing at each other.”

22. Lock horns

This expression is used to describe two people or groups getting into a fight or argument. It implies a clash of wills or a struggle for dominance.

  • For instance, “The two politicians locked horns during the debate.”
  • In a sports context, one might say, “The players locked horns on the field, resulting in a brawl.”
  • A parent might warn their children, “If you keep arguing, you’re going to lock horns with each other.”

23. Stand toe-to-toe

This phrase means to confront someone directly and engage in physical combat. It suggests a fair and equal fight where both parties are standing in close proximity.

  • For example, “The two boxers stood toe-to-toe in the ring.”
  • In a street fight, one might say, “We squared up and stood toe-to-toe, ready to throw down.”
  • A witness to a fight might describe it as, “They stood toe-to-toe, exchanging blows with each other.”

24. Come to blows

This expression means to physically fight or engage in a physical confrontation. It implies a situation where words or arguments escalate to physical violence.

  • For instance, “The argument became so heated that they came to blows.”
  • In a tense situation, someone might say, “If you don’t back off, we’re going to come to blows.”
  • A witness to a fight might describe it as, “They started yelling at each other and eventually came to blows.”

25. Box

This term refers to the sport of boxing, where two opponents fight each other using their fists while wearing gloves. It can also be used more broadly to mean fighting in general.

  • For example, “He used to box professionally.”
  • In a conversation about sports, someone might say, “I enjoy watching boxing matches.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t want to box with you, let’s settle this peacefully.”

26. Spat

A minor or trivial fight or disagreement between two people. It usually involves heated words or a brief exchange of physical aggression.

  • For example, “They had a spat over who should do the dishes.”
  • In a workplace setting, a coworker might say, “I had a spat with my boss this morning.”
  • A friend might ask, “Did you and your partner have a spat last night?”

27. Squabble

A noisy or petty argument or fight between two or more people. It often involves verbal disputes and can be over trivial matters or more serious issues.

  • For instance, “The children were squabbling over the last piece of cake.”
  • In a political debate, one might say, “The candidates spent the entire debate squabbling over minor details.”
  • A sibling might complain, “My sister and I always squabble over who gets to use the bathroom first.”

28. Feud

A prolonged and bitter fight or dispute between two parties, often involving ongoing hostility and aggression. Feuds can be personal or between families, groups, or even nations.

  • For example, “The Hatfields and McCoys had a famous feud that lasted for generations.”
  • In a sports rivalry, a fan might say, “The feud between these teams goes back decades.”
  • A historian might explain, “The feud between the Montagues and Capulets was the central conflict in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.”

29. Grapple

To engage in a physical struggle or fight, often involving close contact and attempts to gain control or dominance over the opponent. It can refer to both actual wrestling or metaphorical struggles.

  • For instance, “The two fighters grappled in the ring, trying to gain the upper hand.”
  • In a political context, someone might say, “The candidates grappled with tough questions during the debate.”
  • A person dealing with a difficult decision might say, “I’m grappling with whether to accept the job offer or not.”

30. Wrangle

To engage in a heated or prolonged dispute or argument, often involving back-and-forth exchanges of differing opinions or viewpoints.

  • For example, “The siblings wrangled over who should get to choose the movie.”
  • In a legal setting, a lawyer might say, “The attorneys wrangled over the interpretation of the contract.”
  • A group of friends might playfully wrangle over where to go for dinner.
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31. Squaring off

This term refers to two individuals positioning themselves to engage in a physical altercation. It signifies the moment when both parties are ready to start fighting.

  • For example, “The two boxers squared off in the middle of the ring, ready to exchange blows.”
  • In a street fight, two individuals might square off by taking a fighting stance and staring each other down.
  • During a heated argument, someone might say, “If you want to settle this, let’s square off right now!”

32. Going toe to toe

This phrase describes a fight where two individuals are standing face to face and exchanging punches or blows. It emphasizes the close proximity and intensity of the fight.

  • For instance, “The two fighters went toe to toe, trading heavy blows.”
  • In a street fight, two individuals might go toe to toe, throwing punches at each other without backing down.
  • During a boxing match, commentators might say, “These two fighters are going toe to toe, neither one willing to give an inch.”

33. Cross swords

This phrase metaphorically compares a fight to a duel with swords. It implies a clash or conflict between two individuals.

  • For example, “The two rivals crossed swords in a heated argument, each trying to prove their point.”
  • In a physical fight, two individuals might cross swords by throwing punches or grappling with each other.
  • During a debate, someone might say, “I’m ready to cross swords with anyone who disagrees with me.”

34. Trade blows

This phrase describes a situation where two individuals are taking turns hitting each other. It implies a back-and-forth exchange of physical strikes.

  • For instance, “The boxers traded blows, each landing solid punches.”
  • In a street fight, two individuals might trade blows, landing punches on each other without a clear advantage.
  • During a heated argument, someone might say, “If you insult me, be prepared to trade blows!”

35. Slug it out

This phrase suggests a fight that is long and grueling, with both parties enduring multiple blows. It emphasizes the endurance and toughness required to keep fighting.

  • For example, “The two fighters slugged it out for 12 rounds, neither willing to back down.”
  • In a street fight, two individuals might slug it out, exchanging punches until exhaustion or intervention.
  • During a heated confrontation, someone might say, “If you want to settle this, let’s slug it out like real men!”

36. Butt heads

This phrase is used to describe two or more people who are in disagreement or conflict with each other. It implies a clash of ideas or personalities.

  • For example, “The two politicians constantly butt heads over policy decisions.”
  • In a heated debate, someone might say, “They really butt heads on that issue.”
  • A coworker might comment, “Those two always seem to butt heads during team meetings.”

37. Have a set-to

This phrase is used to describe a physical fight or altercation between two or more people. It suggests a brief or spontaneous fight.

  • For instance, “The two rivals had a set-to outside the bar.”
  • In a story about a confrontation, someone might say, “They ended up having a set-to in the parking lot.”
  • A witness might recount, “I saw them have a set-to at the schoolyard.”

38. Have a dust-up

This phrase is used to describe a physical fight or brawl between two or more people. It implies a more intense or prolonged fight than a “set-to.”

  • For example, “The two boxers had a dust-up in the ring.”
  • In a news report about a street fight, someone might say, “The altercation escalated into a dust-up.”
  • A friend might say, “I can’t believe they had a dust-up at the party last night.”

39. Have a run-in

This phrase is used to describe an unexpected or unplanned conflict or confrontation with someone. It suggests a brief or minor altercation.

  • For instance, “I had a run-in with my neighbor over the loud music.”
  • In a story about a disagreement, someone might say, “They had a run-in with a rude customer.”
  • A coworker might comment, “I had a run-in with my boss this morning.”

40. Have a scrap

This phrase is used to describe a physical fight or brawl between two or more people. It suggests a more informal or casual fight.

  • For example, “The kids had a scrap on the playground.”
  • In a story about a fight, someone might say, “They ended up having a scrap after the argument.”
  • A witness might recount, “I saw them have a scrap outside the bar.”

41. Have a barney

This phrase is common in British slang and means to have a physical altercation or fight. It is derived from the Cockney rhyming slang “Barney Rubble” which means “trouble”.

  • For example, “Those two had a barney in the pub last night.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t want to have a barney with you, let’s just talk it out.”
  • In a heated argument, someone might threaten, “You wanna have a barney? Let’s go!”

42. Have a ding-dong

This phrase is also common in British slang and means to have a fight or brawl. It is derived from the sound of a bell ringing, similar to the sound of punches being thrown in a fight.

  • For instance, “Those two had a real ding-dong outside the club.”
  • A person might say, “I’m not afraid to have a ding-dong with anyone who disrespects me.”
  • In a tense situation, someone might shout, “Are you ready for a ding-dong? Let’s settle this!”

43. Have a spat

This phrase means to have a minor or brief argument or disagreement. It is often used to describe a verbal dispute rather than a physical fight.

  • For example, “They had a spat over who should do the dishes.”
  • A person might say, “We had a little spat, but we quickly made up.”
  • In a tense situation, someone might say, “Let’s not have a spat, we should try to find a solution instead.”

44. Have a tiff

This phrase means to have a small or petty argument or quarrel. It is often used to describe a disagreement between romantic partners or close friends.

  • For instance, “They had a tiff over what movie to watch.”
  • A person might say, “We had a tiff, but we apologized and moved on.”
  • In a heated discussion, someone might say, “Let’s not have a tiff, we need to have a mature conversation.”

45. Have a bust-up

This phrase means to have a serious or significant fight or altercation. It is often used to describe a physical fight or a heated argument that escalates into a larger conflict.

  • For example, “They had a bust-up over a misunderstanding.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t want to have a bust-up, let’s find a peaceful resolution.”
  • In a tense situation, someone might warn, “If you keep pushing me, we’re going to have a bust-up.”

46. Do

This slang term is used to describe a physical altercation or fight between two or more individuals. It can also refer to engaging in a confrontation or conflict.

  • For example, someone might say, “Those two guys are about to do outside the bar.”
  • In a sports context, a commentator might say, “The players are ready to do on the ice.”
  • A person describing a heated argument might say, “Things got really intense and almost turned into a do.”

47. Dropping Gloves

This phrase is commonly used in the context of ice hockey, where players drop their gloves before engaging in a fight. It can also be used more generally to describe someone starting or initiating a physical confrontation.

  • For instance, a commentator might say, “After a heated exchange, the players dropped their gloves and started throwing punches.”
  • In a schoolyard fight, someone might say, “He’s always dropping gloves and picking fights with other students.”
  • A person describing a bar brawl might say, “Chairs were flying and people were dropping gloves left and right.”

48. Dusting Up

This slang term is used to describe getting involved in a physical altercation or fight. It can also refer to engaging in a heated argument or disagreement.

  • For example, someone might say, “I saw those two guys dusting up outside the club last night.”
  • In a workplace conflict, a coworker might say, “The boss and I dusted up over a project deadline.”
  • A person describing a family dispute might say, “Things got really ugly and we ended up dusting up.”

49. Kerfuffle

This term is used to describe a small-scale fight or scuffle that is often chaotic or disorderly. It can also refer to a minor altercation or disagreement.

  • For instance, someone might say, “There was a kerfuffle at the concert when fans started pushing and shoving.”
  • In a political debate, a commentator might say, “The candidates engaged in a kerfuffle over tax policies.”
  • A person describing a disagreement between friends might say, “We had a little kerfuffle, but we quickly made up.”

50. Mess Up

This slang term is used to describe a physical altercation or fight between individuals. It can also refer to causing harm or injury to someone in a confrontation.

  • For example, someone might say, “He got into a mess up with a stranger at the bar.”
  • In a boxing match, a commentator might say, “The fighters are looking to mess up their opponents.”
  • A person describing a street fight might say, “Things got really messy and people were messing each other up.”