beat the (living) daylights out of (someone)(redirected from beat the daylights out of them)
beat the (living) daylights out of (someone)
1. To deliver a violent and prolonged physical attack. Our neighbor is in the hospital because a burglar beat the daylights out of him. I'm worried that the captain of the football team will beat the living daylights out of me if he finds out that I'm secretly seeing his girlfriend. Oh, my boyfriend knows that I would beat the living daylights out of him if he ever lies to me about something that serious.
2. To defeat an opponent decisively. The final score was 17-1? Wow, we really beat the living daylights out of that team!
beat the living daylights out of
Also, knock or lick the hell or living daylights or shit or stuffing or tar out of . Administer a merciless beating to; also, defeat soundly. For example, The coach said he'd like to beat the living daylights out of the vandals who damaged the gym floor , or Bob knocked the stuffing out of that bully, or He swore he'd beat the tar out of anyone who tried to stop him. These colloquial phrases nearly always denote a physical attack. In the first, daylights originally (1700) meant "the eyes" and later was extended to any vital ( living) body organ. Thus Henry Fielding wrote, in Amelia (1752): "If the lady says another such words to me ... I will darken her daylights" (that is, put out her eyes). Hell here is simply a swear word used for emphasis. The more vulgar shit and the politer stuffing allude simply to knocking out someone's insides. Tar is more puzzling but has been so used since the late 1800s.
beat the living daylights out of someone
If someone beats the living daylights out of someone else, they attack them physically, hitting them many times. That gave them the signal to start beating the living daylights out of each other. Note: You can also say that someone beats the daylights out of someone else. Steve beat the daylights out of him with a length of bike chain. Note: Verbs such as knock, kick and thump can be used instead of beat. I was set upon by three men who kicked the living daylights out of me. Note: The word `daylights' in this expression may be related to an old threat to `make daylight shine through' someone by stabbing them or shooting them. Alternatively, it may be related to an old meaning of `daylights' referring to someone's eyes or internal organs. If they were badly beaten, their `daylights' would stop working.
beat the (living) daylights out ofgive someone a very severe beating. informal
Daylight or daylights has been used from the mid 18th century as a metaphor for ‘eyes’, and here has the extended sense of any vital organ of the body.