skin (one) alive
To upbraid, scold, or punish one severely and with intense anger. My parents will skin us alive if they find out we took the car without telling them. If I find out who messed up the Jefferson account, I'll skin him alive!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
skin someone alive
Fig. to be very angry with someone; to scold someone severely. (Fig. on being angry enough to do this kind of bodily harm to someone.) I was so mad at Jane that I could have skinned her alive. If I don't get home on time, my parents will skin me alive.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Punish severely, as in If I find the guy who slashed my tire I'll skin him alive. This hyperbolic expression transfers the barbaric practice of flaying a live prisoner to other forms of punishment. [Colloquial mid-1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.