give somebody/get what for
get (the) what for
To be thoroughly and intensely punished, rebuked, scolded, or berated. I got the what for from my parents last night for taking the car without permission. I got what for from the boss when I lost the company that big account.
give (one) (the) what for
To punish, rebuke, scold, or berate one thoroughly and intensely. I told her a thousand times not to take the car without asking! Well, I'll give her what for when she gets home. The boss is quick to give you the what for if you make even a minor mistake.