What is the meaning of "badge" in this case? It is from the movie “Kill the Irishman

Danny Greene: Don't rock the boat, Joe. You got a nice car, a nice home. When it comes to pushing, I'm the wrong guy you want pushing back.

Joe Manditski: Are you threatening me? 'Cause if there's a hint of that, badge or no badge, I will cut your heart out with a rusty butter knife and eat it while it's still beating.


As mentioned by Michael Harvey, badge refers to an official police badge (provided he is a police officer).

Police officers are in an occupation that grants them certain privileges that normal citizens do not have; for example, they can perform traffic stops (pulling cars over), break traffic laws in order to quickly reach an emergency (running red lights, speeding), and do other things that enforcing the law requires.

A police officer is required to carry a badge to identify themselves, or they cannot exercise their authority as the general public cannot determine if they are indeed a police officer.

The assault or murder of a police officer is extremely serious compared to the assault or murder of a fellow citizen. That is why he makes the distinction badge or no badge, meaning whether you are a policeman or not.

  • A police officer is required to carry a badge to identify themselves. Am I old fashioned or is this a bohersome construction? – Ronald Sole Aug 28 '18 at 0:17
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    @RonaldSole I'm not sure what you mean. Both themself and themselves are perfectly acceptable; however, the use of they as a neutral singular pronoun presents less of a controversy between speakers of English than the use of themself. – Kman3 Aug 28 '18 at 3:00
  • I guess it’s an issue of who finds them perfectly acceptable. I, for one, have a difficulty when a single police officer morphs into plural entity. Hence my question? – Ronald Sole Aug 28 '18 at 7:32
  • @RonaldSole As I stated previously, the use of they in spoken English when referring to a single person whose gender is unknown has become so commonplace that its singular usage is now widely accepted. As such, grammarians have deduced that the word themself must be used accordingly as a distinction between a singular or plural entity, as you stated. This consideration, however logical, is the subject of controversy between many English speakers, who believe that them is plural and the use of self - singular - is oxymoronic. Therefore I use themselves, which is acceptable. – Kman3 Aug 28 '18 at 18:23
  • Clearly we have the same difficulty, just in different places! – Ronald Sole Aug 28 '18 at 22:15

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