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catch a tan
To tan, as from the sun or in a tanning bed. The water's too cold for my liking, so I'll just catch a tan on the beach instead.
A tan line or sunburn on the neck and lower arms that results from wearing a T-shirt during prolonged sun exposure and that is clearly demarcated from the pale skin of the chest and upper arms that remained covered. It was so warm that I only wore a T-shirt on the four-hour hike, but I had a pretty gnarly farmer's tan by the end of the day.
tan (one's) hide
To spank one. Young lady, I will tan your hide if you disobey me again!
Spanked, thrashed, or beaten. We knew we'd get tanned by our grandma if we cursed or misbehaved, so we were perfect little angels anytime we were at her house.
tan someone's hide
to spank someone. Billy's mother said she'd tan Billy's hide if he ever did that again. "I'll tan your hide if you're late!" said Tom's father.
tan someone's hide
Also, have someone's hide. Spank or beat someone, as in Dad said he'd tan Billy's hide if he caught him smoking, or I'll have your hide if you take something without paying for it. This term uses hide in the sense of "skin." The allusion in the first expression is to a spanking that will change one's skin just as chemicals tan animal hide (convert it into leather). [Second half of 1600s]
tan someone's hide1 beat or flog someone. 2 punish someone severely.
mod. alcohol intoxicated. (Preserved like a tanned hide of an animal.) Tom is too tanned to drive. Get him out of that car.
tan someone's hide, to
To give someone a beating. This term, in which the human skin is referred to as a hide (as it was from about the seventeenth century), may be on its way out, viewed with the same disfavor now accorded to spare the rod. Nevertheless, during the years when corporal punishment was considered a normal procedure, it became a cliché. (Incidentally, the tanning process, in which animal hide is converted into leather, does not involve beating but rather a soaking in chemicals.) The expression dates from the seventeenth century. Charles Coffey used it in The Devil to Pay (1731): “Come and spin . . . or I’ll tan your hide for you.”