skin (one) alive

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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!
See also: alive, skin
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.
See also: alive, skin
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

skin alive

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]
See also: alive, skin
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.

skin someone alive

1. If someone is able to skin you alive, they are much stronger or more powerful than you and may harm you. They are fiercely competitive. If they can skin us alive in business, they will. Anyone who reads your finance pages will see that shareholders in some major banks have been skinned alive.
2. If someone threatens to skin you alive, they are threatening to punish you severely. Who let the dog out? You catch that animal, Ernie, or you'll get skinned alive.
See also: alive, skin, someone
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

skin somebody aˈlive

(used as a threat or warning) punish somebody very severely: Your mother would skin you alive if she knew you’d started smoking!
See also: alive, skin, somebody
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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