Whenever I hear someone calling someone else a ‘thug,” I think of the line in ‘The Princess Bride’ when Inigo Montoya says to Fizzini:
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Thugs were members of a secret criminal society called Thuggee, which began in the 16th century in India, and was made up of robbers and murderers who would fall in with travelers, find out if they had money or valuables, and then strangle them and ditch their bodies.
By the 1800s the cult was enormous and was killing thousands of people, usually travelers, until Indian authorities infiltrated the group and eradicated it.