do a number on (someone or something)(redirected from did a number on them)
do a number on (someone or something)
To hurt or harm someone or something. Considering her pessimism toward marriage, her last break-up must have really done a number on her. Ugh, your puppy did a number on my new shoes—they're completely chewed up!
do a number on someone or something
Sl. to damage or harm someone or something. The teacher did a number on the whole class by giving them a pop quiz. Tom did a number on Mary when he went out with Ann.
do a number ontreat someone badly, typically by deceiving, humiliating, or criticizing them in a calculated and thorough way. North American informal
do a number onSlang
To defeat, abuse, or humiliate in a calculated and thorough way.