This guy Leonard knew sold cold guns was named Haskel Ward.
Did this line wrongfoot you? More than once?
It’s a great example of a garden path sentence, and one with multiple paths. It appears at the beginning of chapter 7 in Joe R. Lansdale’s novel Rumble Tumble, which I’m reading at the moment.
It boils down to “This guy was named X.” Inserting a relative pronoun or two —
This guy [who] Leonard knew
[who]sold cold guns was named Haskel Ward.
— clarifies the syntax, but robs the line of its charm and of the narrator’s distinctive voice.
Grammatically what this is is a subject contact clause. As my shows shows, these are quite common in Irish English and also some US dialects.
(If you’re a regular visitor here, you might remember seeing Rumble Tumble in this bookmash, where I found another use for its rhyming reduplication.)