shellac

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take a shellacking

1. To be thoroughly beaten or thrashed; to suffer rough treatment or abuse. My younger brother was always a shy, skinny kid who often took a shellacking from schoolyard bullies. My feet have taken a shellacking from hiking in these old sneakers.
2. To be soundly defeated or bested; to lose by a wide margin. Their team's inexperience showed on the pitch today, as they took a shellacking from the powerful squad from New Zealand.
See also: shellac, take

*shellacking

 
1. Fig. a physical beating. (*Typically: get ~; take ~; give someone ~.) The boxer took a shellacking and lost the fight. I got a shellacking when I broke the window.
2. Fig. a beating—as in sports. (*Typically: get ~; take ~; give someone ~.) Our team played well, but got a shellacking anyway. I practiced my tennis game so I wouldn't take a shellacking in the tournament.
See also: shellac

take a shellacking

Be soundly beaten or defeated, as in Our team took quite a shellacking last night. Why being coated with shellac should suggest defeat is not clear. [Slang; c. 1930]
See also: shellac, take

shellac

(ʃəˈlæk)
tv. to beat someone; to outscore someone. (see also shellacked, shellacking.) We’re gonna shellac those bums Friday night.

shellacked

1. mod. beaten; outscored. They were shellacked, and they knew it.
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated; overcome by booze. Ernie was so shellacked he couldn’t see.
See also: shellac

shellacking

n. a beating. We gave them a shellacking they’ll never forget.
See also: shellac