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Give someone the works



verb phrase

To mistreat or beat severely; clobber, WORK someone OVER: They took him into the adjoining room and gave him the works (1920+)

Related Terms

the works

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  • Give someone up

    verb phrase To turn someone in to the authorities; to betray: gave him up to the cops

  • Give someone what for

    verb phrase To beat or punish severely; drub either physically or verbally; clobber, LET someone HAVE IT: two or three of us would pitch on him and give him ”what-for” (1873+ British)



  • Give something a shot

    verb phrase (Variations: crack or go or rip or ripple may replace shot) To have a try at; make an attempt: He gave the exam a good shot, but flunked it/ Let’s give it a rip. We’ve nothing to lose (entry form 1840+)

  • Give something a whirl

    Make a brief or experimental try, as in I’ve never made a pie but I’ll give it a whirl. [ ; late 1800s ]



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