by the scruff of (one's)/its/the neck

(redirected from by the scruff of his neck)

by the scruff of (one's)/its/the neck

By the back of the neck (of a person or animal). My mom was so mad that she grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and hauled me into my room to be grounded. I had to yank the cat out from under the floorboards by the scruff of its neck. The boss took John by the scruff of his neck and warned him never to do something so foolish again.
See also: by, neck, of, scruff

by the scruff of somebody’s/the ˈneck

(hold somebody or an animal) by the back of the neck: The barman took her by the scruff of the neck and threw her out.
See also: by, neck, of, scruff
References in classic literature ?
But, when I had paid for about a dozen chickens that he had killed; and had dragged him, growling and kicking, by the scruff of his neck, out of a hundred and fourteen street fights; and had had a dead cat brought round for my inspection by an irate female, who called me a murderer; and had been summoned by the man next door but one for having a ferocious dog at large, that had kept him pinned up in his own tool-shed, afraid to venture his nose outside the door for over two hours on a cold night; and had learned that the gardener, unknown to myself, had won thirty shillings by backing him to kill rats against time, then I began to think that maybe they'd let him remain on earth for a bit longer, after all.
All turned in surprise toward this new speaker, to behold a very well-built young man urging a resisting captive toward them by the scruff of his neck.
The family sit in a row all day long, watching him, commenting upon his actions, telling each other anecdotes about him, recalling his virtues, and remembering with tears how one day they lost him for two whole hours, on which occasion he was brought home in a most brutal manner by the butcher-boy, who had been met carrying him by the scruff of his neck with one hand, while soundly cuffing his head with the other.
Joyce, 78, said: "He had a go at me and Paul's dad got hold of him by the scruff of his neck and nutted him, he knocked him flying down a grassy bank.
On one occasion she grabbed a child by the scruff of his neck and took him out of assembly.
James Wade was cursing a 7-7 draw against unbeaten Phil Taylor, who The Machine had by the scruff of his neck.
A MAN who grabbed a four-year-old boy by the scruff of his neck as he cried for his mother causing him to fall down a flight of stairs was spared jail yesterday.
He was then led by the scruff of his neck through the estate until they reached Portland Street where Mr Stephenson escaped.
If the court's final determination is that I did indeed throw him out by the scruff of his neck, then so be it, but I think you can judge as well as I can, where many people's sympathies will lie.
After five years though I learned to stagger along w/ him so I could keep the pace and maybe catch him by the scruff of his neck when he started to fall.