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I'm looking for slang that means something like "tough guy" in a complimentary way. If someone did something awesome like fight off a robber or save someone, to the point where women envy him and men want to be him... so now people might refer to him with this term when discussing him, or even yell it at him on the street.

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    「鉄人」ってかな。。I think "tetsujin" is like a strong person, or even a "badass". – knowledge_is_power Oct 16 '17 at 16:45
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    What about just タフガイ? – Eiríkr Útlendi Oct 16 '17 at 18:29
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「タフガイ」 would probably be the most common word even though I know from experience that katakana words sometimes seriously disappoint the questioner as an answer to this type of question.

Others with similar meanings would include:

・熱血漢{ねっけつかん}

・熱血[男児]{だんじ}

・腕{うで}っぷしの強{つよ}い男{おとこ} ← Not even a single word obviously but quite a common phrase

Ones with underworld connotations:

・ごろつき

・ならず者{もの}

・無頼漢{ぶらいかん}

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How about 親分(おやぶん)、大将(たいしょう).

清水次郎長

Excerpt from article of Japan times: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2008/01/17/national/robin-hood-yakuzas-legacy-sours-in-shizuoka/ Yamamoto Chogoro (1820-1893), popularly known as Shimizu Jirocho, is commonly regarded as a Robin Hood figure who helped the weak by crushing the strong as a yakuza chieftain in the twilight years of the Edo Period.

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