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take a shellacking

1. To be thoroughly beaten or thrashed; to suffer rough treatment or abuse. My younger brother was always a shy, skinny kid who often took a shellacking from schoolyard bullies. My feet have taken a shellacking from hiking in these old sneakers.
2. To be soundly defeated or bested; to lose by a wide margin. Their team's inexperience showed on the pitch today, as they took a shellacking from the powerful squad from New Zealand.
See also: shellac, take


1. Fig. a physical beating. (*Typically: get ~; take ~; give someone ~.) The boxer took a shellacking and lost the fight. I got a shellacking when I broke the window.
2. Fig. a beating—as in sports. (*Typically: get ~; take ~; give someone ~.) Our team played well, but got a shellacking anyway. I practiced my tennis game so I wouldn't take a shellacking in the tournament.
See also: shellac

take a shellacking

Be soundly beaten or defeated, as in Our team took quite a shellacking last night. Why being coated with shellac should suggest defeat is not clear. [Slang; c. 1930]
See also: shellac, take


tv. to beat someone; to outscore someone. (see also shellacked, shellacking.) We’re gonna shellac those bums Friday night.


1. mod. beaten; outscored. They were shellacked, and they knew it.
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated; overcome by booze. Ernie was so shellacked he couldn’t see.
See also: shellac


n. a beating. We gave them a shellacking they’ll never forget.
See also: shellac
References in periodicals archive ?
In our study, a combination of treatments that involved using the soap Environne (1:1,000 dilution) followed by brushing and coating with Shellac wax caused 88 to 100% reduction in adult density.
Therefore, the present research work aims at development of a new shellac based pH responsive material which can be used as carrier matrix for controlled drug release applications.
In chapter four, Osborne describes the vinyl material that came into wider use due to the shortage of shellac during World War Two.
Gel - An alternative to Shellac to strengthen and smooth out imperfect nails.
Due to forming a smooth and resistant film layer on the surface, shellac also functions as a mould-release.
We set out to modify shellac with a functionality that would increase its solubility in such solvents.
Shellac may be applied with a brush, foam brush or from a can.
A Shellac release of a Moby Dick Films, Les Films Pelleas, Les Films Velvet production, in association with Shellac.
Many of these recordings take the shape of lacquered discs, shellac discs, or celluloid cylinders.
It also removes a variety of industrial coatings, including oil, latex, acrylic and lead-based paints, shellac, lacquer and powder coatings.
Tokyo, Japan, Aug 9, 2005 - (JCNN) - Ivy Cosmetics (TSE: 4918) announced on August 5 that it has identified a unique property of shellac, a natural resin secreted by insect Laccifera Lacca.
The earth in the picture is not prettily painted: Kiefer has used a mixture of oil paint, straw, shellac, and emulsion to create a dense, dark, thick surface.
I asked guitarist Andrew Jones and keyboard player Zach Miller about how the sense of rural dread ("I went out to the shed and put shellac in my head, but nobody noticed but me") creeps into the music of a rock band from Philly.
A shellac coating applied to the bones as a preservative shortly after their discovery obscures many surface features on the bones, he asserts.
Permatex was founded in 1909 as a maker of shellac for bonding bicycle tires to their rims.