beat the living daylights out of someone

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!
See also: beat, daylight, of, out

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.
See also: beat, daylight, living, of, out, someone