lick someone or something into shape
lick (someone or something) into shape
To return someone or something into acceptable condition or behavior, especially through direct, efficient, and practical means. The president won the election on his promise to lick the economy into shape by overhauling outdated or inefficient legislation. What he really needs is a mentor who will lick him into shape.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
lick (or knock or whip) someone or something into shapeact forcefully to bring someone or something into a fitter, more efficient, or better-organized state.
This expression originally referred to the belief, expressed in some early bestiaries, that bear cubs were born as formless lumps and were literally licked into shape by their mother. A bestiary was a treatise about different types of animal, popular especially in medieval times.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
- get (someone or something) into shape
- get into shape
- get/knock/lick somebody/something into shape
- knock (someone or something) into shape
- knock something/someone into shape
- lick (someone or something) into shape
- lick something into shape
- whip (someone or something) into shape
- whip into shape
- whip something into shape