Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bashing n.

1. (UK Und.) a judicial flogging.

[UK]Five Years’ Penal Servitude 157: There were the evidences of former floggings, or ‘bashings,’ as the prisoners call them.
[UK]Dundee Courier 22 Sept. 7/4: ‘Were you ever there [i.e. Dartmoor prison], Snuffy?’ [...] ‘Yes, I was, and I’d have risked a bashing (flogging) if I’d seen the least chance of getting away’.
Indianapolis Jrnl 28 Feb. 3/3: The criminal [...] submits to a ‘bashing’ when he is flogged.
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 160: The fellow driving the car caught a bashing with the cat just as much as the fellow who carried the cosh.
[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 216: Slim got a bashing and a month’s jail in 1933.
[UK](con. c.1900) A. Harding in Samuel East End Und. 111: A lot of garotting went on. Five years and a bashing you got for it – eighteen strokes with the cat.

2. a beating; also in fig. use; thus gay-bashing under gay n.1 ; Paki-bashing under Paki n.; queer-bashing under queer n. [bash v. (1)].

[UK]A. Griffiths Fast and Loose III 218: Don’t be a blamed fool—what chance have you got? The screws is all round and in them togs too, you’ll never get far. Wot are you bidding for a bashing for?
[UK]C. Rook Hooligan Nights 17: They do a bit of bashing for a toff.
[UK]Marvel III:55 15: A glowingly graphic account of ‘the bashing of young Lyons’.
[UK]A.G. Empey Over the Top 119: The investigators would then be up in the air, we would be safe, the Boches would receive a good bashing, and we would get our own back on Old Pepper.
[UK]C. MacInnes Absolute Beginners 34: I bet [...] you give those poor old 1930s of yours a bit of a bashing.
[UK]Beano 1 Aug. n.p.: A thundering good bashing for me! I’m off!
[US]P. Corris ‘Marriages Are Made in Heaven’ in Heroin Annie [e-book] I could have said that a bashing and an abduction were very different things from a loitering perv, but I didn’t.
[UK]Guardian Guide 26 June–2 July 6: A round of public bashing at the hands of old mates.
[UK]Guardian G2 31 Jan. 16: I have a Jag for motorway bashing.
[Aus]P. Temple Truth 56: Ivan’s an animal [...] shot the customer at Westpac at Garden City in March, no reason at all. There’s other bashings, one woman’s got brain damage, can’t speak.
Daily Mail (Aus.) 24 Sept. [Internet] I only have too look at the Daily Mail to find a Muslim-bashing story.

3. masturbation [bash v. (4)].

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 55/1: since ca. 1920.

4. prostitution [bash v. (6)].

[UK]G. Kersh Night and the City 169: Why not get a flat for afternoons [...] Do some indoor bashing.
[UK]G.F. Newman Sir, You Bastard 144: They had cautioned her twice [...] for bashing.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn).

5. verbal aggression, from severe criticism to affectionate teasing; ; esp. in sfx form -bashing, e.g. union-bashing, anti-Union behaviour/comments [bash v. (8)].

[UK]Times 11 Oct. 5: We must get away from the idea that every time you disagree with the trade unions it is union-bashing or being tough.
[UK]Eve. Standard 20 Mar. 19: He makes no secret of the fact that he believes in the yuppy-bashing campaign, although he maintains he takes no part in violent acts.
[US]J. Stahl Permanent Midnight 176: Young Skip was quick to hop on the veggie-bashing bandwagon.
[US]Sun (London) 23 Mar. 9: I considered setting up a sauerkraut luncheon for journalists specialising in German-bashing.
[UK]Guardian Weekend 22 Jan. 5: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has once again written a sublime piece of west-bashing in her article.
[UK]Eve. Standard (London) 18 Sept. 44/4: At the cinema this year, posh-bashing has become an acceptable blood sport.

In phrases

take a bashing (v.)

(orig. milit.) to suffer heavy losses, to do badly.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 55: [...] 1939–45, and after.