Green’s Dictionary of Slang

clobber v.2

[ety. unknown, ? echoic of the sound of the blow; note US Air Force Academy clobber in, to crash]

1. (also clob) to hit, to beat up, to kill; thus clobbering n., a beating.

[UK]Kipling ‘Loot’ in Barrack-Room Ballads (1899) 121: For a single man gets bottled on them twisty-wisty stairs, / An a’ woman comes and clobs ’im from be’ind.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 15 Apr. 4/6: The larrikin / So full of sin, / has now no fear of getting clobbert [sic].
[US]Lay & Bartlett Twelve O’clock High! (1975) 363: ‘Hit it?’ Savage asked. ‘Clobbered it, I think, sir.’.
[UK](con. WWII) J. Klaas Maybe I’m Dead 285: Three-fourths of the bloody houses in Leipzig are clobbered.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn (1966) 127: Harry passing out beer, telling them how he clobbered a cop.
[US]E. Shepard Doom Pussy 25: This would probably bring on retaliation-clobbering.
[US]Fantastic Four Annual 60: Outta the way! I’m gonna clobber the bum!
[UK]S. Berkoff West in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 93: Their blokes just given them clobberings.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We have No 173: The police [...] clobbered him for giving them lip.
[Ire]F. Mac Anna Cartoon City 269: Ma, your man clobbered John for no reason.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Leaving Bondi (2013) [ebook] Imagine if that old sheila had clobbered me with the candleabra.
[US]C. Hiaasen Nature Girl 7: Did he deserve to be clobbered with a crab hammer in the testicles.
[Aus] A. Prentice ‘The Break’ in Crime Factory: Hard Labour [ebook] If Matt hadn’t already hit someone tonight, he might have done something really dumb and clobbered the tall smartarse.
[Aus]P. Papathanasiou Stoning 113: ‘[C]lobbered by death’.

2. to defeat heavily; thus clobbering, a beating.

[US]G.C. Hall Jr 1000 Destroyed 271: It didn’t appear the war was going to last long enough to clobber them.
Breakthrough [film script] They [US troops in WWII] clobbered ’em good [W&F].
[US]W. Styron Set This House on Fire 439: He looked absolutely clobbered.
[UK]Galton & Simpson ‘Loathe Story’ Steptoe and Son [TV script] Put my name down for the tennis club, I’ll give you a clobbering down there.
[US]H. Selby Jr Demon (1979) 18: I hear you clobbered the bums.
[UK]Kirk & Madsen After The Ball 112: People who refuse to face reality sooner or later get clobbered.
[UK]Guardian Guide 4–10 Sept. 15: I had this false sense of confidence that we could actually take these hits. When we did, I just got clobbered!
[US]D.R. Pollock Devil All the Time 70: Hank reached [...] turned the radio off. The Reds were getting clobbered.

3. to criticize, to treat harshly.

[US]Collier’s 24 Nov. 67: In the Pentagon an individual can be clobbered by his superior [W&F].
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Peacock Valhalla 347: He did not expect to be anything but clobbered.
[US]T. Southern Blue Movie (1974) 209: Can’t you tell ’em to get rid of that Viet Cong flag? The press is gonna clobber us for that!
[UK]T. Lewis Billy Rags [ebook] ‘That’s why they [i.e. the police] only clobbered you on the one operation’.
[UK]P. Barker Blow Your House Down 52: She took chances [...] and of course she got clobbered.
[UK]Guardian G2 20 July 10: As a member of three French pressure groups, he has been the Asterix clobbering Jack Valenti.

4. in fig. use, i.e. to accost.

[UK]P. Larkin letter 6 May in Thwaite Sel. Letters (1992) 415: The TLS has got clobbered for about £7,000 damages [...] for reviewing some chap unfavourably.
[UK]L. Mantell Murder and Chips 126: We clobbered them for rape.
[Aus]J. Byrell (con. 1959) Up the Cross 19: By the time the wals clobbered him Whiffy Maloney was standing all alone.

5. to make a physical effort.

[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 94: I was the son of a son of a bitch, an ancestral prodigy born to clobber my way through loathsome dungheaps of idiot labor.