whale on (someone or something)
1. To attack or thrash something in an brutal, forceful, or relentless manner. He stood there whaling on the wall with a sledgehammer, but he barely seemed to be making a dent in it. She began whaling on the poor child until a police officer finally intervened. The other team whaled on us for the entire game, leading to one of our most humiliating defeats of the season.
2. To criticize, rebuke, or verbally assault someone or something vehemently or relentlessly. The interviewer suddenly began whaling on the politician over his alleged ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The boss whaled on us for the entirety of the meeting because of our failure to meet our sales quota.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. To strike or hit someone or something repeatedly and forcefully; thrash someone or something: The street gangs whaled on each other until someone called the police.
2. To criticize someone vehemently: Our boss whaled on all of us for missing the deadline.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
mod. excellent. (Possibly confused with or in error for wailing.) We had a whale on time at Bob’s house.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.