clap (someone) in jail

clap (someone) in jail

To put someone in jail, often abruptly. You can't just clap someone in jail! What are the charges here?
See also: clap, jail

clap someone in jail (or irons)

put someone in prison (or in chains).
The meaning of clap in these idioms is somewhat removed from the original one of ‘make a sudden explosive sound’. Over time the word developed the additional sense of ‘make a sudden action’, without necessarily implying any sound.
See also: clap, jail, someone