|Slang City Mail|
|July 1, 2004|
Slang of the
Week: clean someone’s clock (verb phrase)
69-year-old Loretta Lynn recently made a comeback with Van Lear Rose, an album produced by hipster Jack White of the White Stripes. Married at 13, Loretta’s hard childhood is the subject of one of her biggest hits, Coal Miner’s Daughter. However, she is most famous for her angry songs directed at bad husbands and the bad women who would like to steal them.
In Fist City, for example, Lynn warns woman who is after her husband, “You'd better move your feet if you don't wanna eat a meal that's called Fist City!” This song came out in 1968 and the term fist city didn’t catch on as slang. However, it did pave the way for the similar 70s playground threat, “How would you like to eat a knuckle sandwich?”
Of course, there are many more many slang terms for causing physical injury. An old fashioned way to hit someone over the head is to crown them. To pop someone can mean to punch them, but it can also mean to shoot them. To punch someone’s lights out is to knock them unconscious. As for cleaning someone’s clock, that expression is more often shortened to just clocking them.
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