1. to beat, to thrash; thus lick out of, to change someone’s character/beliefs/actions by a threat of violence, to ‘knock it out of’ someone.
|Cron. Scot. (1858) I 144: Leggis war likkit of hard of at the kne [OED].|
|Hist. of Highwaymen &c 354: He cries out Cat-Whore! opens the Door in great haste, and runs out with his Stirrup full drive to lick Puss.|
|Tom Jones (1959) 179: It’s weel vor un I could not get at un: I’d a lick’d un.|
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
|Works (1842) 4/2: I’m tauld the Muse ye ha’e negleckit; An gif it’s sae, ye sud be licket.Second Epistle to Davie in|
|Sporting Mag. Mar. XXIII 352/1: Tom licks him, I’ll lay you a copper.|
|N.-Y. American 23 Feb. 2/4: And then big Celia told Mary that if she did not knock Eliza down, she would lick her for being a coward, and then Mary up fist, and knocked Eliza down, and then they fit it out.|
|Every Night Book 82: Poor Hen Pearce [...] would have challenged and licked the ex-champion very handsomely.|
|‘Pugilistic Feats Of Jack Scroggins’ Lummy Chaunter 57: He mill’d that crusty blade, and lick’d him for a foe!|
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 137: Twas cut for cut while it did last, / Thrashing, licking, hard and fast, / Hard milling for the gold.‘Bould Yeoman’ in Farmer|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 14 Apr. 3/3: Admitting that he was given to liquor (lick her).|
|Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) I 6: The peculiar knack the second master possessed of finding out all your tenderest places when he licked a feller for a false quantity.|
|Slaver’s Adventures 37: Hab a grand fight, and we care no which lick.|
|Proc. Old Bailey 15 Dec. 251: I said ‘I would not fight if I were you; you know if you get licked [i.e. whipped in prison] where you will be sent to’.|
|Moko Marionettes 5: It’s losing dem Babes licks me!|
|St Paul Dly Globe (MN) 24 May 1/4: What er yer talkin’ ebout? Ye never licked ennybody in yer life.|
|Robbery Under Arms (1922) 327: What a chap he is; you can’t lick him.|
|Dead Bird (Sydney) 26 July 2/4: Licked! licked! Why, you rabbit, do you think learning how to box gives you sand?|
|Boy’s Own Paper 13 Nov. 104: Look here, Mobsley, if you read any more sickly rot like that, I’ll lick you.|
|Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 53: Lick him yourself, ef you wanter!|
|Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 72: [He is] only a con-man what couldn’t lick nobody.‘Charlie the Wolf’ in|
|Man’s Grim Justice 4: He could lick more cops than any other three men.|
|One Jamaica Gal 7: You no hear say how Mattie lick Joe wid sugar cane stick las’ night?|
|(con. 1939) Mad in Pursuit 170: Six rounds. I’ll lick ’im.|
|In This Corner (1974) 69: I had no trouble licking him in 12 rounds.in Heller|
|Deadmeat 152: [I] roll up mi lef fis an lick im cross im nose bridge.|
|(con. c.1945) Island Songs (2006) 53: Him cyan’t jus’ lick down everybody who ah vex him.|
|Crongton Knights 80: It was agreed that the fed who licked my leg with the car door apologise.|
2. to defeat, to overcome, to be victorious.
|in Spirit of Public Journals IV 232: By Dane, Saxon, or Pict We had never been lick’d Had we stuck to the king of the island .|
|Bk of Sports 27: The Hero of the Prize Ring — the pride of the Tennis Court, to be licked in twenty-five minutes, and by an Out-side Boxer — a Yokel!!!|
|Bell’s Life in Sydney 30 Jan. 2/1: Flemming then challenged him to fight, alleging that he was able to lick him [...] and all the family of Smiths, numerous as they were.|
|‘Ruff Sam’s Bear Fight’ Spirit of the Times 4 Mar. (N.Y.) 14: The bar was dead, an’ me an’ Boss had licked her!|
|Fights for the Championship 42: Molineaux [...] took it into his head that he could lick the Champion.|
|Tom Brown at Oxford (1880) 130: A gentleman will always lick in a fair fight.|
|‘Bull-Whacker’s Epic’ in Life in Utah 227: I can like the rascal that yokes an ox of mine.|
|Robbery Under Arms (1922) 207: There he was first chop. You couldn’t lick him for quality.|
|Dagonet Ditties 118: A kid could lick him on its head.‘Rigadoon’|
|Ballads of a Cheechako 131: I’m going to lick this blizzard; I’m going to live the night.‘Lost’ in|
|Mr Dooley Says 16: Andhrew Jackson [...] licked th’ British at Noo Orleans be throwin cotton bales at thim.|
|Harrisburgh Teleg. (PA) 19 Aug. 3/2: ‘You’ve licked me at every turn, but I’m in Oxford again on the quiet, just to see if I can’t get at you again somehow’.|
|(con. 1910s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 3: He didn’t know whether or not he could lick Weary.Young Lonigan in|
|Man with the Golden Arm 55: It wouldn’t look dignified, a big fat hound like him lickin’ a poor skinny little old [...] cat.|
|Big Smoke 29: You think because Johnson licked me I’m in the gutter.|
|(con. 1920s) Burglar to the Nobility 7: he could lick any many his size in Camberwell.|
|letter 2 Apr. in Leader (2000) 623: Reputedly cold in winter, which oil heaters and such will lick.|
|Flesh and Blood (1978) 245: He doesn’t think you can lick this jig.|
|Ruthless 238: We lick [clamp] down ’pon it hard.|
|Guardian Rev. 26 Feb. 8: All three looked to have licked the system and joined the Hollywood pantheon.|
|Izikhotane News (S. Afr.) 12 Mar. [Internet] Zikhotane which loosely translates as ‘The Lickers’ is indicative of a Caribbean British slang, where to get ‘licked’ is to be beaten, bested or trumped.|
3. (US) to move fast; also as lick it.
|Wah-to-Yah and the Taos Trail 167: How they did ‘lick’ it over the ground!|
|Facey Romford’s Hounds 265: Yess, ar seed him [...] a-goin’as ivir he could lick.|
|Outing (N.Y.) IX 198/1: He’d nothing ter do but ter lick it like blazes [DAE].|
|Westerfelt 222: Toot drove nipity-tuck down the street [...] as fast as he could lick it.|
|Lonely Plough (1931) 229: How Lup Whinnerah turned tail on Canada [...] and ran home as hard as he could lick.|
|Rock 5: Zoom, zoom, you hear cars licking past.|
|House For Mr Biswas 493: ‘I run in more cars than you,’ Jagdat said angrily. [...] ‘He will lick it up,’ Ajodha repeated.|
4. to shoot.
|Indep. Rev. 3 July 7: Not gun-shots and licking people down.|
5. (UK black) in fig. use of sense 1, to effect emotionally.
|Crongton Knights 23: She’s on a downer. She’s well upset [...] Can’t you see how trauma is licking her?|
(UK black) overcome by drink or drugs.
|Crumple Zone 152: I can take a pina colada. I had three in a row [...] Din do nu’in for me. — Liar. You was lick up so bad I had to put your hands on the handlebars innit.|
(W.I.) to live an unsettled life.
|Dict. Carib. Eng. Usage.|
|Londonstani (2007) 122: With his neck raised now an givin it another lick-a-shot flick with his right hand.|
(orig. W.I.) to shoot at.
|‘Wicked in bed’ [lyrics] BAM BAM!!! Lick a shot inna a mama-man head.|
|‘Pump Pump’ [lyrics] Lick em up shot, it don’t stop, till dem all drop.|
|Plays I 12: Digger Man fe dead lick a shot inna informer man head.|
(US) to be really amazing, to be beyond the bounds of possibility.
|London Society Feb. 117/1: Of course in a great country that licks creation.|
|Musical World (London) 2 Sept. n.p.: The memory of the three days of excruciating pain of Bayreuth ‘licks creation’.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 29 May 2/4: Tasmanian 300-ton barques ‘lick creation.’ The Harriet McGregor’s last voyage to London was 79 days.|
|Gems from Our Village 63: Rugby or Association, ’tis the darling of the nation, Full of go and fascination, Game of games, that licks creation.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 20 Aug. 43/1: ‘Fill ’em up!’ ‘I’ll bet a dollar / An’ a half agin a dime / Yew an’ me kin lick creation / Into splinters every time.’.|
|Lonely Plough (1931) 24: Licks creation! Stuns the stars!|
|in a Shantung Garden 204: ‘The Street that licks creation,’ he told her with a laugh. He had not supposed that there was any one on Earth who had never heard of Broadwa.|
to beat comprehensively.
|Lincs. Chron. 9 Apr.6/1: We fully expect to see The Ban lick him into fits for the [...] Newmarket Triennial.|
|Ballou’s Mthly Mag. (Boston, MA) Oct. 351/2: Look hire — old Bonypart, [...] if you don’t lem me go, I’ll lick you into fits.|
|Leics. Mercury 24 Aug. 8/5: he heard one of the yankee officers say they would lick John Bull into fits, lick Napoleon into fits, and lick creation into fits.|
|Western Gaz. 14 May 3/2: As if the British could not lick the Yankee into fits.|
|Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack 104: I’ll have a --- devil that will lick yours into fits.|
|Our Corner I 21: We’re going to lick you into fits; so look out.|
|Hartlepool Mail 4 Oct. 3/2: [advt] Who in your opinion Are the best Clothiers and Hatters? [...] I have not the slightest hesitation saying Bennison Brothers Lick in the others into fits.|
|Chelmsford Chron. 18 May 3/4: Tjhey talk about the Boers’ shooting. Our men can lick them into fits at it.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Dec. 23/1: Bah! Lies! Lies! My son will lick you into fits for that, sir! I’ve a mind to hit you in the ear myself!|
|Dundee Courier 11 July 4/2: It is a wonderful device [...] Compared with the work of the scullerymaid, it can lick her into fits in the art of dish-washing.|
1. to fire a shot from a real or imaginary gun to signal appreciation of music or an event.
|Official Dancehall Dict. 31: Lick shot firing a gun or imitating its sound (done at the Dancehall as a mark of respect for the performing artiste).|
2. to fire a gun; also attrib.
|Yardie 53: Any lickle t’ing, dem lick shot.|
|Deadmeat 260: We ah go tun dis yah rave een tu ah lick shot party.|
see under jacket n.
(US) to beat comprehensively.
|Theatre Annual 45: ‘Clear for a fight,’ ‘Lam in, Jake,’ ‘Lick the socks off’n him, stranger’.|
|Cape Girardeau Democrat (MO) 5 May 7/2: Well, now [...] I’m goin’ t’ lick the socks clean off you.|
|Hunkins 284: I told him you will lick the socks off him, and that closed the conversation.|
|Paper Mill and Wood Pulp News 44 38/2: l’ve got ten dollars up that the office boys will lick the socks off the warehouse men.|
|Jim of the Press 110: You’ll be out of the county tournament, and we’ll have a chance to lick the socks off your team then.|
|Missouri Historical Review 37 137: The champion [...] stuck out his chest, hooked his thumbs under his arm pits in the age old gesture of conceit, and belligerently declared he could lick the socks off anyone.|
|Congressional Record 102:7 9417/3: I hope you go on to lick the socks off of their candidate in the primary.|
|Confounded Rot about Napoleon 178: Get us a war with some of these pestering nations we have on the face of the globe, lick the socks off them, and then compel the payment of an indemnity of 2 billion dollars.|
|How to Make Your Life Easier at Work 144: If you can’t lick the socks off the inflation rate every week and every year, you should be sacked.|
|Glass House 68: He would be shouting beneath my window at 8 o’clock, impatiently insisting that I get up and out to the tennis courts with him so he could lick the socks off me.|
|Blessings for a Mother’s Day [ebook] I seem to have been infected with a kind of deadly spiritual pacifism, an unwillingness to roll up my sleeves and lick the socks off the devil.|
(UK black) to apply deodorant.
|(con. 1981) East of Acre Lane 171: Sweet-lick your armpits, slap on some clothes an’ meet me at de blues.|
a general excl. of incomprehension.
|Gem 23 Mar. 8: ‘Guess it licks me!’ he muttered.|