give someone what for
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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
give someone what forpunish or scold someone severely. British informal
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017