clap someone in irons

clap someone in jail = clap someone in irons

put someone in prison {or in chains).

The meaning of clap in these idioms is somewhat removed from the original one of make a sudden explosive sound. Overtime the word developed the additional sense of make a sudden action without necessarily implying any sound.

Related Idioms :

clap eyes on

see – informal

1992 - Barry Unsworth - Sacred Hunger - If we go by the indications of the play, these two charmers have never clapped eyes on a man before, never flirted, never known the sweets of love.

clap hold of

grab someone or something roughly or abruptly - informal

clap someone in irons :

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