pack a wallop(redirected from they pack a wallop)
pack a wallop
1. To be able to punch very powerfully. For such a scrawny kid, George sure can pack a wallop—even the older kids are afraid of him!
2. By extension, to have a powerful effect or impact. I don't like spicy food, so I hope this salsa doesn't pack a wallop.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
pack a wallopand pack a punch
Fig. to provide a burst of energy, power, or excitement. Wow, this spicy food really packs a wallop. I put a special kind of gasoline in my car because I thought it would pack a punch. It didn't.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
pack a wallop/punch, to
To exert formidable power. In modern English to wallop means to thrash, and in noun form, a heavy blow, but originally the verb meant to boil with a noisy, bubbling sound, and the noun also was slang for ale. Glyndebourne, site of a summer opera festival in England, perpetuates the last meaning in the name of its restaurant, Nether Wallop (Lower Ale). The verb pack in this expression means “to deliver.” The term dates from the early twentieth century. Eugene O’Neill used it literally in his play The Hairy Ape (1922): “He packa da wallop, I tella you.” Figuratively it appears in such locutions as, “The candidate’s speech really packed a punch.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer