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be tarred and feathered

1. Literally, to be coated with tar and bird feathers as a form of public punishment and shaming (one that is no longer carried out). The thief was tarred and feathered in the public square before being paraded through the town strapped to a wooden cart.
2. By extension, to be severely criticized, reprimanded, or excoriated, especially in a public and humiliating manner. After this economic collapse, everyone is demanding that the heads of the bank be tarred and feathered, but I'd be willing to bet that they'll just get a slap on the wrist.
See also: and, feathered, tar

have a lick of the tar brush

dated ethnic slur To be of mixed race, such that one's skin is darker than that of a person with only white ancestry. My racist aunt refuses to vote for someone who has a lick of the tar brush.
See also: brush, have, lick, of, tar

have a touch of the tar brush

dated ethnic slur To be of mixed race, such that one's skin is darker than that of a person with only white ancestry. My racist aunt refuses to vote for someone who has a touch of the tar brush.
See also: brush, have, of, tar, touch

knock the tar out of (someone)

1. To strike continuously and violently. Aw man, when my dad finds out that I broke the window, he's going to knock the tar out of me!
2. To defeat soundly. A: "Did you guys win today?" B: "We sure did! We knocked the tar out of them: 10-0!"
See also: knock, of, out, tar

do not spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar

Do not ruin something for an avoidable reason. "Ship" is thought to be a dialectical pronunciation of "sheep," and a "ha'porth" is a "halfpennyworth." Tar was used to protect sheep skin from flies (and thereby illness and death), so not having enough tar would contribute to the death of the sheep. You know your mom is going to be offended, so please call her before the dinner party—do not spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar.
See also: not, of, ship, spoil, tar

Jack Tar

A slang term for a sailor. I hardly ever see my brother now that he's a Jack Tar and constantly traveling.
See also: jack, tar

touch of the tar brush

dated ethnic slur Of mixed race, such that one's skin is darker than that of a person with only white ancestry. My racist aunt refuses to vote for someone who has a touch of the tar brush.
See also: brush, of, tar, touch

beat the tar out of (someone)

1. slang To deliver a violent and prolonged physical attack. This phrase can be used both literally and hyperbolically. Primarily heard in US. Our neighbor is in the hospital because a burglar beat the tar out of him. I'm worried that the captain of the football team will beat the tar out of me if he finds out that I'm secretly seeing his girlfriend. If you ever scare me like that again, I'll beat the tar out of you, I swear!
2. slang To defeat an opponent decisively. Primarily heard in US. The final score was 17-1? Wow, we really beat the tar out of that team!
See also: beat, of, out, tar

tar and feather

1. Literally, to coat someone with tar and bird feathers as a form of public punishment and shaming (a practice that fell out of use in the early 20th century). The mob tarred and feathered the thief in the public square before parading him through the town strapped to a wooden cart.
2. By extension, to severely criticize, reprimand, or excoriate someone, especially in a public and humiliating manner. Everyone is demanding that the government tar and feather the bank executives behind the scandal, but I'd be willing to bet that all they'll receive is a slap on the wrist.
See also: and, feather, tar

beat the hell out of someone

 and beat the living daylights out of someone ; beat the pants off (of) someone; beat the shit out of someone; beat the socks off (of) someone; beat the stuffing out of someone; beat the tar out of someone
1. Fig. to defeat someone very badly. (Caution: the use of the word shit is considered vulgar and is offensive to many people. Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Our team beat the hell out of the other side. We beat the stuffing out of the other side.
2. Fig. Inf. to batter someone severely. (Alludes to physical violence, not the removal of someone's pants. Of is usually retained before pronouns.) The thugs beat the living daylights out of their victim. If you do that again, I'll beat the pants off of you. Before the boxing match Max said he would beat the socks off Lefty.
See also: beat, hell, of, out

tar and feather someone

to punish or humiliate someone by coating them with tar and feathers. The people of the village tarred and feathered the bank robber and chased him out of town. They threatened to tar and feather me if I ever came back into their town.
See also: and, feather, tar

tarred with the same brush

Fig. sharing the same characteristic(s); having the same good or bad points as someone else. Jack and his brother are tarred with the same brush. They're both crooks. The Smith children are tarred with the same brush. They're all lazy.
See also: brush, same, tar

whale the tar out of someone

Inf. to spank or beat someone. (See also beat the living daylights out of someone.) My father threatened to whale the tar out of me. I'll whale the tar out of you when we get home if you don't settle down.
See also: of, out, tar, whale

beat the living daylights out of

Also, knock or lick the hell or living daylights or shit or stuffing or tar out of . Administer a merciless beating to; also, defeat soundly. For example, The coach said he'd like to beat the living daylights out of the vandals who damaged the gym floor , or Bob knocked the stuffing out of that bully, or He swore he'd beat the tar out of anyone who tried to stop him. These colloquial phrases nearly always denote a physical attack. In the first, daylights originally (1700) meant "the eyes" and later was extended to any vital ( living) body organ. Thus Henry Fielding wrote, in Amelia (1752): "If the lady says another such words to me ... I will darken her daylights" (that is, put out her eyes). Hell here is simply a swear word used for emphasis. The more vulgar shit and the politer stuffing allude simply to knocking out someone's insides. Tar is more puzzling but has been so used since the late 1800s.
See also: beat, daylight, living, of, out

knock the living daylights out of

Also, knock the shit or stuffing or tar out of . See beat the living daylights out of.
See also: daylight, knock, living, of, out

lick the stuffing out of

Also, lick the tar out of. See under beat the living daylights out of.
See also: lick, of, out, stuffing

tar and feather

Criticize severely, punish, as in The traditionalists often want to tar and feather those who don't conform. This expression alludes to a former brutal punishment in which a person was smeared with tar and covered with feathers, which then stuck. It was first used as a punishment for theft in the English navy, recorded in the Ordinance of Richard I in 1189, and by the mid-1700s had become mob practice. The figurative usage dates from the mid-1800s.
See also: and, feather, tar

tarred with the same brush

Having the same faults or bad qualities, as in He may be lazy, but if you ask me his friends are all tarred with the same brush. This term is thought to come from sheep farming, where the animals' sores were treated by brushing tar over them, and all the sheep in a flock were treated in the same way. The term was transferred to likeness in human beings in the early 1800s.
See also: brush, same, tar

tar someone with the same brush

If you tar someone with the same brush you wrongly believe that they have the same bad qualities as others in a group of people they are connected with. I am a football supporter and I often have to explain that I'm not one of the hooligan sort, because we all get tarred with the same brush. In the loans business, the better operators get tarred with the same brush as the less scrupulous ones. Note: You can also say that someone is tarred with the brush of something. Why should all English people be tarred with the brush of football hooliganism? Note: This expression comes from the use of tar to mark all the sheep in one flock to distinguish them from another flock.
See also: brush, same, tar

spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar

mainly BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar, you spoil a large or important piece of work completely because you refuse to spend a small amount of money on one aspect of it. I think it's a modest investment that is well worth making. You don't want to spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar. Note: `Ship' in this expression was originally `sheep'. A `ha'porth' is a `halfpenny's worth'; a halfpenny was a British coin of very low value. Shepherds used to put tar on their sheep's wounds and sores to protect them from flies, and it would be foolish to risk the sheep's health in order to save a small amount of money.
See also: of, ship, spoil, tar

tar and feather someone

If you tar and feather someone, you criticize and embarrass them very badly. These newspapers are ready to tar and feather innocent celebrities.
See also: and, feather, tar

spoil the ship for a ha'p'orth of tar

risk the failure of a large enterprise by trying to economize on trivial things.
The expression originally referred to the use of tar to keep flies off sores on sheep (ship represented a dialectal pronunciation of sheep ). Ha'p'orth is a contraction of halfpennyworth .
See also: of, ship, spoil, tar

beat (or whale) the tar out of

beat or thrash severely. North American informal
See also: beat, of, out, tar

tar and feather

smear with tar and then cover with feathers as a punishment.
This practice was introduced in Britain in 1189 , when Richard I decreed that it should be the punishment for members of the navy found guilty of theft. It seems to have been intermittently imposed on other wrongdoers in Britain and has sometimes been inflicted on an unpopular or scandalous individual by a mob.
1981 Anthony Price Soldier No More The Russians…wouldn't have cared less if we'd tarred and feathered Nasser and run him out of Suez on a rail.
See also: and, feather, tar

tar people with the same brush

consider specified people to have the same faults.
See also: brush, people, same, tar

spoil the ˌship for a ha’porth/ha’penny-worth of ˈtar

(saying) spoil something good because you did not spend any or enough money on a small but essential part of it: Always buy good quality floppy disks. Don’t spoil the ship for a ha’porth of tar. Ship in this idiom was originally sheep and ha’porth or ha’penny-worth referred to a very small amount of money. The basic meaning of the idiom was originally ‘allow a sheep to die because you won’t buy a very small amount of tar’, tar being used to treat cuts on a sheep’s body.
See also: of, ship, spoil, tar

tar somebody/something with the same ˈbrush

judge a whole group of people or things unfairly because of your bad experience with one or a few of them: Because his older brother had been a troublemaker at the school, Paul was automatically tarred with the same brush. It wasn’t fair!

whale the tar out of someone

tv. to spank or beat someone. (Sometimes said to a child.) My father threatened to whale the tar out of me.
See also: of, out, tar, whale

tar and feather

1. To punish (a person) by covering with tar and feathers.
2. To criticize severely and devastatingly; excoriate.
See also: and, feather, tar

tarred with the same brush

Considered or described as having the same faults or bad qualities.
See also: brush, same, tar