Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
tan (one's) hide
To spank one. Young lady, I will tan your hide if you disobey me again!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer