Green’s Dictionary of Slang

get it in the neck v.

also cop it in the neck

1. (also get it behind the ear, ...in the back, ...collar button) to be punished severely, to suffer badly, to be harshly criticized.

[US]A. Garcia Tough Trip Through Paradise (1977) 66: If anything happened, Beaver Tom was going to get it in the neck first.
[US]Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) 20 Jan. 6/4: Dem dubs is goin’ to git it in de neck in a minit [DA].
[US]E. Townsend Chimmie Fadden Explains 69: If de owner knowed he’d been blowin off wine on de wrong star he’d get it where de giraffe got de sore troat – in de neck.
[US]Ade Girl Proposition 128: Something tells me that this is another Time when I get it in the Collar-Button.
[UK]A. Binstead Pitcher in Paradise 169: The fat and greasy citizens of Belgium [...] are getting it — largely ‘in the neck’, it may be added.
[UK]J. Buchan Greenmantle (1930) 276: ‘We’ve got it in the neck this time, old man,’ I said to Peter.
[US]J. Tully Beggars of Life 145: The good guys always get it in the neck.
[UK]Wodehouse Carry on, Jeeves 57: I was the lad who was scheduled to get it behind the ear.
[US]J. Dixon Free To Love 26: If you or anybody else expects me to roll by and see Dad get it in the back, you got me wrong.
[UK]Dundee Courier 10 Mar. 7/4: Few of them are ready to raise their voices [...] in case they should cop it in the neck for being so bold as to interfere.
[Aus]‘Banjo’ Paterson Shearer’s Colt 92: If we invite the wrong chappies to Government House, why, yours truly gets it in the neck.
[US]F. Swados House of Fury (1959) 113: If anyone gets it in the neck it’ll be Mis’ Dulcy, not us.
[UK]A. Buckeridge Jennings Goes To School 176: That form’s going to get it in the neck.
[UK]C. Hooper Brief Authority 191: It’s only when a kaffer’s cheeky he gets it in the neck.
[US]L. Heinemann Close Quarters (1987) 240: All I could think was: the poor seven-six gets it in the neck again.
[UK]J. Healy Streets Above Us (1991) 59: Now we need a body to take a plea. Or we’re going to get it ourselves ... in the neck.
[US]Hip-Hop Connection Jan./Feb. 26: And, as ever, the media cop it in the neck.

2. (orig. US, also get it in the guts) to be killed or badly wounded.

[US]A.H. Lewis ‘Mulberry Mary’ in Sandburrs 11: I’m only Mollie d’ Dope [...] an’ if I gets it in d’ neck it don’t count, see!
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘The Play’ in Bulletin (Sydney) 16 July 47/1: Mick Curio, ’e gets it in the neck, / ‘Ar rats!’ ’e sez, an’ passes in ’is check.
[UK]A. Christie Secret Adversary (1955) 169: But I wish to God I’d been the one to get it in the neck.
[UK]Kipling ‘The Janeites’ in Debits and Credits (1926) 166: We copped it. In the neck.
[UK]M. Allingham Mystery Mile (1982) 350: Poor old St. Swithin got it in the neck.
[UK]D. Davin For the Rest of Our Lives 116: You know poor old Mac got it in the guts to-day. They think he’ll pull through all right.
[UK]Guardian G2 8 Oct. 18: You were strongly reminded of those primitive Triassic cattle who were about to get it in the neck from the dinosaurs.