a kick in the face

a kick in the face

1. A thoroughly devastating or disappointing setback or failure. Losing the championship match was a real kick in the face, but I knew I just had to train even harder and try again next year.
2. A harsh punishment (or remedy) for acting foolishly or malevolently. Usually used prescriptively (i.e., "(someone) needs a kick in the face"). Tim needs a kick in the face for passing up such a fantastic job opportunity. Whoever has been spreading rumors about Cathy deserves a kick in the face!
See also: face, kick
References in classic literature ?
A kick in the face led an ascending policeman to follow his example.