1. (US) to hit, thrash or trounce; also fig. use.
|Traits and Stories of Irish Peasantry (1868) I 142: It’s the Fair day of Knockimdowney! Irish Fair play, you whale! But I’ll whale you (crack, crack, whack).‘Battle of the Factions’|
|Biglow Papers (1880) 46: Their masters can cuss ’em an’ kick ’em an’ wale ’em.|
|Spirit of the Times 26 Jan. (N.Y.) 581: It minded me o’ David whalin’ Goliath, it did!‘Mike Hooter’s Bar Story’|
|‘South-Western Sl.’ in Overland Monthly (CA) Aug. 128: Some boasted that one Southerner could ‘whale’ ten Yankees.|
|Hoosier Mosaics 168: I recollect my floggings at school with so much aversion that I do think, if a teacher should whale one of my little ruddy-faced boys, I’d spread his (the teacher’s) nose over his face as thin as a rabbit skin!|
|(con. c.1840) Huckleberry Finn 30: He used to always whale me when he was sober and could get his hands on me.|
|Dead Bird (Sydney) 29 Mar. 4/1: It, is years since we listened to the shrill shriek of the ear-piercing fife or whaled [...] the spirit-stirring drum.|
|Hooligan Nights 74: I’ll wail his young skin proper.|
|Maison De Shine 205: Ef he does he gits a whalin’ an I’ll be the whaler.|
|Smoke Bellew (1926) 21: Your father was a man, every inch of him. [...] I think he’d have whaled all this musical and artistic tomfoolery out of you.|
|Coll. Short Stories (1941) 261: He whales the groove ball to the fence in left center.‘Horseshoes’ in|
|Kid Scanlon 359: He whales Old Dobbin with the whip.|
|(con. 1890s) Behind The Green Lights 25: I whaled the nearest fellow so hard that he flew against an iron pillar.|
|House of Fury (1959) 114: If I catch that girl I’ll whale her.|
|Stockade 68: It goes on down the line until somebody whales the be-jesus out of the gook.|
|Pimp 89: I’m not in the mood to ‘whale’ the craps.|
|Living Black 304: If a kid smashed a window or was cheeky or vicious his uncle or aunt whaled his arse.|
|Life Its Ownself (1985) 187: Dreamer’s the guy who waled on your knee, right?|
|Silent Terror (1990) 67: If a ‘fruit jockey’ made a sexual advance toward you, ‘wail on his head’ [...] because if you didn’t ‘put him straight,’ you would acquire a ‘fruit jacket.’.|
|Hard Candy (1990) 115: You started whaling on him with the gun.|
|Guardian 25 May [Internet] ‘He took me to the ground [...] I think he wailed on me once or twice ... He got on me and I think he hit me’.|
|The Force [ebook] ‘I’ve whaled the living shit out of them. Sometimes literally’.|
2. to hit (rather than beat) an object.
|Chicago Trib. 19 July in Unforgettable Season (1981) 129: Moran whaled a double over third base.|
3. (US black/campus) to act well, to do something especially well; thus whaling n. and adj.
|Hepster’s Dict. 11: Whaling – Doing good.|
|Corner Boy 139: If he didn’t have to cut Carl in on the profits he would really be whaling.|
|Down These Mean Streets (1970) 83: The gym was whaling. The music was on wax, and it was a mambo.|
|Third Ear n.p.: whale v. 1. to run very fast. 2. to think very clearly. 3. to have a good time; e.g. He was whalin(g) up a storm. 4. to play a musical instrument with fervor.|
|Campus Sl. Oct. 11: whale – to do extremely well at a task [...] I whaled on my econ exam!|
4. (US) to attack.
|Web of the City (1983) 12: His green eyes narrowed [...] Then he whaled in.|
5. to act aggressively, fast.
|Rock 83: We really whaled that supply in the back.|
to eat furiously.
|Gidget (2001) 80: I offered the guys some of the cookies [...] they whaled them down like greedy sharks.|
|Bonfire of the Vanities 391: Ray Andriutti gave up whaling down his super-sub.|
to beat (cit. 2000 refers to aggressive sexual intercourse).
|Rivethead (1992) 53: There’s probably no tellin’ what he’s whalin’ on today [...] Apartment walls. Cell bars. The skulls of the bewildered.|
|Abuse for Amy [Internet] Don jumped on top of Cherri and stuffed his prick in her cunt. He started wailing on her real hard, but quickly pulled out.|
to beat viciously.
|Blazed Trail 160: ’Spose you go over and take ’em apart; what then? [...] You whale daylights out of a lot of men who probably don’t know any more about this here shooting of our dams than a hog does about a ruffled shirt.|
|Score by Innings (2004) 320: We whaled the everlasting daylights out of everything between Green River and Laramie.‘Chivalry in Carbon County’ in|
|Babbitt (1974) 69: If I ever catch you fighting I’ll whale the everlasting daylights out of you.|
|‘Abbie an’ Slats’ [comic strip] You rude little bum! I ought to whale the daylights out of you for that!|
|Marion Star (OH) 28 Nov. 5/6: ‘ told him I’d whale the living daylights outen him’.|
|Ernie and the Rest of Us 75: ‘I’ll whale the living daylights out of you,’ threatened Ernie.|
|Digger’s Game (1981) 32: You send them round to whale the piss out of somebody.|
|Q&A 162: We whaled the shit out of everybody.|
|Breaks 257: I’m whaling the crap out him now.|
|Asheville Citizen Times (NC) 12 Mar. 5/2: ‘You knew they were [...] going to whale the living daylights out of you’.|
|At End of Day (2001) 74: A cop whaling the shit out of some poor-bastard minority guy.|
|Cutman [ebook] I’d already seen him [...] whale the tar out of three German sailors that thought they was gonna buffalo an old man.|