Green’s Dictionary of Slang

stuffing n.1

(orig. US) the essence, the ‘daylights’, as in phrs. below; also used fig.

[US]F.H. Hart Sazerac Lying Club 203: I’ll bet forty-five to fifteen I can lick the stuffin’ out of the doggoned, ornery, consarned critter.
[US]Ouachita Teleg. (Monroe, LA) 17 Sept. 1/6: I bedam if I can’t just whollip the pea-green stuffin’ out o’ the gum-dashed galoot.
[US]J. Harrison ‘Negro English’ in Anglia VII 265: To claw de stuffin’ outer = to reduce to one’s senses; to injure severely.
[NZ]Bruce Herald (Otago, NZ) 18 July 7: If you want to get the stuffin’ tore out of you, you just take me!
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘The Romance of a Busy Broker’ in Four Million (1915) 214: Talk quick, please — those fellows are clubbing the stuffing out of union pacific.
[UK]R. Carr Rampant Age 277: Ya keep ya mouth shut, or I’ll thrash th’ stuffin’ outa ya!
[UK]M. Marshall Travels of Tramp-Royal 153: Stop arguing, and give us our money, or I’ll punch the stuffin’ outa you!
[Aus](con. 1830s–60s) ‘Miles Franklin’ All That Swagger 155: I’ll foller ole Jimmy and belt the stuffin’ outer his ole hide.
[UK]V. Hodgson Diaries (1999) 14 Dec. 94: I am glad the stuffing is being taken out of Mussolini at last.
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake 213: Frightened the stuffing out of poor old Uncle.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 14: I ripped the stuffing out of the beastly little brochure.
[UK]Wodehouse Much Obliged, Jeeves 120: It would be a blow calculated to take all the stuffing out of her.
[UK]J. Bradner Danny Boy 104: Hell, man! You nearly scared the stuffing out of me!

In phrases

beat the stuffing out of (v.) (also beat the stuffings out of)

to beat up thoroughly.

[US]F. Francis Jr Saddle and Mocassin 123: Get up, or I’ll beat the stuffing out of you!
[UK]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 25 Oct. 15/5: Jerry beat the stuffing outa me. Whaled me till I couldn’t stand.
[US]C. Himes ‘Mama’s Missionary Money’ in Coll. Stories (1990) 317: She knew his ma ’ud beat the stuffin’s outen him if he refused.
[UK]P. Theroux Murder in Mount Holly (1999) 30: ‘Fixed him up?’ asked Miss Ball [...] ‘Beat the living stuffings out of him.’.
knock the stuffing out of (v.) (also kick the stuffing out of)

to beat up thoroughly, to defeat comprehensively.

[US]Northern Trib. (Cheboygan, MI) 13 Nov. 9/3: I’ll be afther kicking the red, white and blue stuffin’ out of yez.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 21 Sept. 3/4: ‘If John Smith, who, twenty years ago, deserted his poor wife and babe, will return, said babe will knock the stuffing out of him’.
[UK]Cornishman 23 Apr. 7/6: Bump into me again and I’ll knock the stuffing out of you.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Bill, the Ventriloquial Rooster’ in Roderick (1972) 143: Yer rooster knocked the stuffin’ out of my rooster, but I bear no malice.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 15 Apr. 3/8: Mr Garvan did not see the joke and [...] threatened to kick the stuffing out of the Paddington choice.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 13 Mar. 8/2: Said turn-out fairly knocks the stuffing out of all other carriage folks. Dame’s horses are the biggest and her landau the most capacious in town.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 241: But the best pucker for science was Jem Corbet before Fitzsimons knocked the stuffings out of him, dodging and all.
[Ire](con. 1880–90s) S. O’Casey I Knock at the Door 179: Take them that way, an’ you’ll knock the stuffin’ outa them.
[UK]Dundee Courier 11 Jan. 2/4: We are going to knock the stuffing outof the Tory party.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 37: He wanted to kick the stuffing out of the old wino for stealing them in the first place.