To Knock (or beat) the tar out of




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To Knock (or beat) the tar out of : Phrases



Meaning:

To beat, whip, or belabor without mercy.


Example:

Jack didn't have a good first soccer game - he tried
to knock the tar out of the ball instead of learning to kick it with his feet.


Origin:

The expression may have been brought to this country by some Scottish or north-of-England sheepherder who may have used it in a literal sense. Many centuries ago it was learned that a sore on a sheep, as from an accidental cut in shearing, could be protected against the festering bites of flies if smeared with tar. However, when tar once gets embedded into a sheep's wool, its removal is difficult. Thus, used in a literal sense, to beat a sheep's side for the removal of tar. Thanks to Katie Cutie.





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