give (one) both barrels

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give (one) both barrels

To scold, criticize, or attack one with full force. The phrase is a reference to double-barreled firearms. There was a printing error? Uh oh, the boss is definitely going to give us both barrels when she hears about it. Dad gave me both barrels when he saw that I put a dent in his brand-new car.
See also: barrel, both, give
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

give someone both barrels

INFORMAL
If you give someone both barrels, you criticize them fiercely and with force. She was angry and gave him both barrels. Note: You can also attack or criticize someone with both barrels. Let him have it with both barrels and then get out of the situation while you can. Note: This expression refers to the firing of both barrels of a double-barrelled gun.
See also: barrel, both, give, someone
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Saints skipper has been tempted to give both barrels to some team-mates as his side have slid to the bottom spot.
THE chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, Nick Goulding, will today give both barrels to retailers who exploit purchasing power at the expense of suppliers.
Some even opted to forge an unlikely alliance with Rangers fans and give both barrels to Parkhead powers-that-be for playing the lead roles in this farcical fixture furore.
Assistant boss Mark McGhee couldn't conceal his anger and frustration at full-time and appeared to give both barrels to Allan McGregor, Scott Brown and Russell Martin on the touchline.