tan someone's hide, to

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.
See also: hide, tan

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]
See also: hide, tan

tan someone's hide

1 beat or flog someone. 2 punish someone severely.
See also: hide, tan

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.”
See also: tan