1. (US und.) to rob (of everything).
|Biglow Papers (1880) 113: Two pickpockets [...] / Turn all his pockets wrong side out an’ quick ez lightnin’ clean ’em.|
|Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 31: ‘[D]idn’t you get a chance to clean any Christmas drunks this year? ’.|
|N.Z. Truth 27 Feb. 6/6: For did not he introduce two of the most fascinating tartlets into Central Club, and did not those two smart ‘gals’ clean members of every loose coin.|
|Vocab. Criminal Sl. 24: clean [...] To take... all one possesses of a given commodity; to deplete one’s assets. Example: ‘He headed in wrong with that bunch and got cleaned.’.|
|Black Mask Aug. III 60: Somebody has cleaned old Adams and now he comes bellyaching.|
|Female Convict (1960) 43: I’d getta job as a maid in a swell home, then clean the joint and make my get-away.|
|DAUL 44/2: Clean, v. To rob of everything of value; to leave penniless.et al.|
|World’s Toughest Prison 794: clean – To rob.|
2. to beat, to overcome; thus cleaning, a thrashing.
|Benedick’s Songster 49: I can beat old Uncle Snow, the best way he can go, I will clean the whole caboodle [DA].|
|Innocents at Home 334: He went for ’em! And he cleaned ’em, too!|
|Big League (2004) 41: Tough mug. Don’t start anything with him or he’ll clean you.‘The Bush League Demon’|
|Coll. Short Stories (1941) 250: The Ath-a-letics would of cleaned ’em in four games but for Parker.‘Horseshoes’|
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 468: Joe had cleaned him in a game of straight pool.Judgement Day in|
|Battle Cry (1964) 313: Got cleaned in a poker game.|
|(con. 1940s) Tattoo (1977) 47: When he had cleaned the two gentlemen, he unscrewed his cue.|
|Way Home (2009) 281: Lawremce threw a right. It caught Chris square on the jaw [...] ‘I’m about to clean you proper now’.|
3. to tell off severely.
|Teachers (1962) 21: Your Mum wouldn’t half have cleaned her.|
|DSUE (8th edn) 223/1: late C.19–20.|
4. (orig. gambling) to take all of an opponent’s money.
|Checkers 37: I’ve been playing ‘the bank,’ and they’ve cleaned me flat.|
|Wooings of Jezebel Pettyfer 315: De gen’el man wid four spots cleans de table!|
|Forty Modern Fables 158: Adams had been Cleaned properly.|
|Old Man Curry 70: I sat there like a flathead and let them clean me.‘By a Hair’ in|
|You Can’t Win (2000) 33: I soon came to know the poker players, crap shooters and dice sharks who brought their victims into the back room to ‘clean’.|
|‘Stampede’ in Pulps (1970) 86/1: Glenn Vernam an’ Joe Archibald got together an’ cleaned me purty.|
|Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye in Four Novels (1983) 124: They didn’t clean me. I didn’t know it was a shakedown.|
|Young Wolves 52: Somebody cleaned the till. No witnesses.|
|Paper Tiger 215: I was [...] for the first and only time equipped to wage successful war in either craps or poker. [...] I was cleaning all the boys.|
|(con. 1940s) Tattoo (1977) 59: You cleanin this sausage?|
|Song of the Silent Snow (1988) 11: Phil got on a hot roll and was cleanin everybody.|
5. (US Und.) for a pickpocket to rid him- or herself of the stolen object as soon as it has been secured.
|(con. 1905–25) Professional Thief (1956) 46: The fourth operation is cleaning. When a hook has secured a pocketbook, he generally cleans himself of it to another member of the mob as soon as possible.|
|Parole Chief 246: The next step is ‘cleaning’. [...] ‘I pass the wallet on right away to one of my stalls.’.|
6. (US Und.) to empty a stolen wallet or purse.
|Variety Stage Eng. Plays 🌐 I have a copped a poke and screened it / ’Till I cleaned it then I’ve jeaned it.‘Types’|
|Down These Mean Streets (1970) 218: We emptied the johns and pushed everyone but the bartender into the back and cleaned them like Rinso of anything that was worth money.|
see separate entry.
1. to beat up severely; to destroy.
|Trenton (NJ) Eve. Times 28 July 11: It took the Thistles just one inning to clean the clocks of the Times boys.|
|Cook County (MN) Herald 6 May 1: [Tomatoes versus citrus fruits] But the science boys now say that the vitamins in the tomato can clean the clock of any of the others so highly recommended and not half tried.|
|Reno (LV) Eve. Gazette 18 Sept. 12: ‘Who knows?’ Lobert said yesterday, eager for the Brooklyn game. ‘Maybe we’ll clean their clocks.’.|
|(con. WWII) Barren Beaches of Hell 225: ‘Don’t give me that guff. You’re not a corporal any more.’ ‘I don’t have to be a corporal to clean your clock.’.|
|M*A*S*H (2004) 96: If you give us any kind of a bad time, me and Trapper John are going to clean your clock.|
|Nam (1982) 127: I [...] jumped into Hanoi with an airborne division and just cleaned their clock for them.|
|Change of Gravity [ebook] Geoff [...] made no mistakes [and] ended up cleaning Sam’s clock for him.|
|Yes We have No 186: Babette kicks ass. One wrong look and [...] Babette will clean your clock.|
|Pound for Pound 119: A white top that he’d worn when he cleaned Chicky’s clock.|
|Cutman [ebook] The cap’n would have cleaned our clocks if we’d tried to interfere.|
|The Force [ebook] If the cameras weren’t there, the uniforms might charge them, clean their clocks, shut their fucking mouths.|
2. to take all someone’s money, esp. during gambling.
|Skin Tight 63: I took him for every goddam dime. Cleaned his clock.|
|Native Tongue 284: We played poker [...] Cleaned his fucking clock.|
(US) to beat up severely, to attack, lit., or fig.
|Stay Hungry 262: But when I get out I’m gon come around to see you. And I’m might gonna clean your greens.|
|Anniston Star (AL) 28 Nov. 1B/6: Right left or middle of the road [in politics] seems inbred so they will all be ready to clean your greens.|
(US) lit. or fig., to thrash, to beat severely; thus clean someone’s plow off, to reach the limit of one’s patience.
|DN V 37: plow, to clean one’s v.phr. To give one a whipping.|
|Times (Shreveport, LA) 13 Oct. 11/2: ‘Since he threw so much mud with his political half-shovel, I propose to “clean his plow”’.|
|Burlington Hawkeye-Gaz. (IA) 20 Nov. 7/7: ‘Let me have one of those Illinois fighters who thinks he can battle and I’ll clean his plow for him’.|
|Pampa Dly News (TX) 7 Jan. 4/4: ‘You go up there and tell that blankety-blank , long-legged, block-headed son of a so-and-so that [...] I’ll come up there and clean his plow’.|
|Down in the Holler 235: If that feller says one faultin’ word to me, I’ll clean his plow!|
|Abilene Reporter-News (TX) 2 May 8/1: Lewis sounds like a republican. I leave it to the democrats to clean his plow.|
|Terre Haute Trib. (IN) 10 Sept. 11/1: Lewis [...] likened a reporter to the prohgency of a ‘stud horse and a she jackass’ and threatened to ‘clean his plow’.|
|Courier-Post (Camden, NJ) 10 Jan. 6/2: Perhaps it is time that the United States clean his [i.e. Col. Gaddafi] plow for him.|
|Montgomery Advertiser (AL) 4 July 11/3: ‘He can’t beat me. Once again I’ll clean his plow’.|
see separate entries.
SE in slang uses
1. (US) to sort things out once and for all, to punish, to beat; to eject malefactors.
|Steuben Repub. (Angola, IN) 23 Jan. 6/3: ‘Wasn’t that Governor McManus who sat up in the high chair and said that after to-day he was going to clean house?’.|
|Sun (NY) 23 Sept. 1/7: They say the Chinese are dirty and should be swept out [...] But if America is going to clean house, where should she begin? With the Poles, with the Russian, the Italian, or where?’.|
|More Fables in Sl. (1960) 183: He cleared the Dividing Fence without touching his Hands and began to Clean House.|
|Bar-20 Days 176: When I get well I’m going down to Harlan’s an’ clean house proper.|
|Galveston Dly News (TX) 4 Nov. 4/6: Kennerly [said] that he was going to ‘clean house’ as an aftermath of the [...] investigation of his office.|
|Palladium-Item (Richmond, IN) 16 Apr. 6/1: If you are going to clean house, make a good and through job of it is his theory [...] We hope the sentaor keeps blasting away at the higher-ups that get their ideas from Moscow .|
|Thrilling Detective Winter 🌐 So you watch your step or we’ll clean house.‘The Ice Man Came’ in|
|Linton Dly Citizen (IN) 14 Dec. 8/2: The Bloomfield Cardinals say they’re going to ‘clean house’ by beating us.|
|Orlando Sentinel (FL) 21 Nov. 20/2: Blackwood took aim on Irsay, suggesting that the Colts ‘start at the top’ if they’re going to cleaan house.|
|Phila. Enquirer (PA) 1 Sept. 7-F/5: Reports persist that Turner is going to clean house in the organization and that Mullen probably will be one of the casualities.|
|Corner (1998) 262: Pops never cleans house or hurries anyone out.|
|Tallahassee Democrat (FL) 8 Feb. 5/1: [He] vowed [...] to push investigations into [...] political crimes and to sweep out corrupt officials. ‘When I sit on the gubernatorial chair, I’m going to clean house’.|
|Frank Sinatra in a Blender [ebook] ‘First, this guy, Norman Russo, he’s [...] murdered? [...] Ron nodded. ‘And now this security guard ends up dead the next day?’ ‘Exactly,’ Ron joined in. ‘Somebody’s cleaning house, tying up loose ends’.|
|Buzzfeed 19 July 🌐 ‘He came in, cleaned house, and turned New York into a dominant market. He played hardball’.|
|Widespread Panic 282: The Janey Blaine job tested him [...] He cleaned house and wound up here.|
2. (US) to leave (fast).
|Gay Detective (2003) 101: Hey, boss, let’s clean house.|
|Pimp 182: You’d better clean house fast.|
3. (US campus) to vomit.
|Compter Science and Why (1993) 🌐 I was struck with [...] the plethora of words and phrases meaning ‘vomit’ and/or ‘to vomit’ [...] At most American colleges and universities, a weekend cannot pass without seeing multitudes [...] clean house.|
4. (US) to have sexual intercourse.
|Modern English 72: clean house (v): Get laid.|
see under pipe n.1
|T. Rex’s Guide to Life 🌐 Okay, since people don’t want to actually say the m-word and the chicken and monkey phrases have been used to death on MTV, I thought it would be my duty to provide you with a bevy of other useful terminology that may be helpful in this area: [...] cleaning your rifle.|
see under pipe n.1
(W.I.) to fellate.
|Official Dancehall Dict. 12: Clean-de-rifle to perform oral sex: u. dem gal deh clean-rifle.|
(Polari) to perform cunnilingus.
|Fabulosa 290/2: cleaning the cage out cunnilingus.|
see wipe the floor (with) v.
(Polari) to perform anilingus.
|Fabulosa 290/2: cleaning the kitchen anilingus.|
see under slate n.1