Etymology
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roughneck (n.)

also rough-neck, 1836, "rugged individual," from rough (adj.) + neck (n.). At first a word of the Texas frontier and more or less approving, it later was applied to labor organization toughs (c. 1900) and others. Specific sense of "oil rig worker" is recorded by 1917. Compare redneck.

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Definitions of roughneck

roughneck (n.)
a cruel and brutal fellow;
Synonyms: bully / tough / hooligan / ruffian / rowdy / yob / yobo / yobbo
From wordnet.princeton.edu