take someone to the woodshed
take (one) to the woodshed
To punish, reprimand, or reprove someone, especially discreetly, secretly, or in private. Many suspect that the president took the former aide to the woodshed over his inflammatory remarks to the press.
take someone to the woodshedreprove or punish someone, especially discreetly. US informal, dated
This expression referred to the former practice of taking a naughty child to a woodshed to be punished, out of sight of other people.