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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)


Read Also:

  • 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 ]

  • Give something the deep six

    verb phrase To dispose definitively of; jettison; throw overboard: They gave those files the deep six [1940s+ Nautical; probably fr the six feet of a fathom, the unit for measuring depth]

  • Give thanks for small blessings

    Express gratitude for a minor favor or advantage, as in My bag didn’t get on the plane but it did arrive in time—give thanks for small blessings. This expression is usually uttered when one encounters an unexpected bit of good fortune.

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