Green’s Dictionary of Slang

punish v.

1. to hurt badly in a boxing match or a fight.

[UK]‘One of the Fancy’ Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress 3: If to level, to punish, to ruffian mankind .
[UK]Carlisle Patriot 9 Dec. 2: Hudson made a plunge with his rigjht hand upon his opponent’s face [...] followed him up to the ropes, and punished him down.
[Aus]N.-Y. National Advocate 3 May 2/2: Escaped from the Cock-pit in Liberty-st. while moving yesterday, three bantam Seriagapatam breed, and an English rooster, their feathers plucked, gaffs on – the rooster’s right eye a little punished – bantams plump for spring training.
[UK]Pierce Egan’s Wkly Courier 22 Mar. 4/1: Now and then planting some punishing hits about his adversary’s nob.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Thackeray Mr and Mrs Frank Berry (1887) 98: 20th round. The men both dreadfully punished.
[US]Matsell Vocabulum 128: punished. Severely bruised or cut in the fight.
[UK]Wild Boys of London I 151/1: Ikey Bob was good at kicking, and, having on a thick boot with a toe-plate, he punished a fellow’s shins to any extent.
[US]G.P. Burnham Memoirs of the US Secret Service 202: He contrived to punish one of the brutes to his entire content.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Feb. 14/2: Johnson, a local man, and ‘Little Jemmy from New York,’ milled for £50 a side. The men fought for an hour and a quarter with desperate determination, and then Johnson, who had been terribly punished, gave in.
[US]L.A. Herald 23 July 1/2: Baker was terribly punished and lost five teeth.

2. to make inroads into, esp. a stock of food or wine.

[US]R. Waln Hermit in America on Visit to Phila. 2nd series 132: A song or six bumpers—punish the bottle—smoke cigars.
[UK]Egan Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 221: Blacky punished the steaks [...] and took the lining out of a quart of porter.
[UK] ‘The Life and Death of Dando’ in C. Hindley James Catnach (1878) 336: One day he walk’d up to an oyster stall, / To punish the natives, large and small.
[UK]Thackeray Vanity Fair III 67: But, Law bless you, I promise you, he punished my champagne, and had a party ere every night.
[US]J. Brougham Basket of Chips 362: A chap tucks in a lot o’ dinner [...] punishin’ nothin’ but substantial gallops o’ meat.
[US]C.G. Leland ‘Hans Breitmman’s Christmas’ in Hans Breitmann’s Party 33: Hei! how we roosh on do liquor! — hei! how do kellners coom! / Hei! how we busted de bier kegs und poonished de Punsch a la Rhum.
[US]W.H. Thomes Slaver’s Adventures 215: Santa Cruz rum, which I can punish dreadfully when we come to close quarters.
[UK]Fife Herald 14 Oct. 2/6: [I] shall stop down here and punish the old gentleman’s sherry .
[US]E.W. Townsend Chimmie Fadden 10: ‘De kid’s nut is cracked, and he’s punished de bot,’ I says. ‘What t’ell! He’ll be all right in de morning.’.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 20 Mar. 5/3: The John was invited by the captain of a steamer to come down and punish a case of English ale.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Dec. 14/3: It was a hot night, ’n’ I give you my word the missus got at that tin ’n’ punished it, while, ez fer me – ’struth, I couldn’t touch it!
[UK]‘Sapper’ Jim Maitland (1953) 30: One thing the Baron did do with gusto, he punished the excellent South Sussex champagne.
[US] ‘We Came to Tamichi’ in Lingenfelter et al. Songs of the Amer. West (1968) 139: For punishing booze, he can beat any baby.
[UK]J.B. Priestley Black-Out in Gretley 149: The bottle of brandy they’d punished was prominent on the little table [OED].

3. to attack, esp. in sports.

[UK]Boy’s Own Paper 19 Jan. 247: Vintner got punished horribly, and so did Stokes when he was tried for a change.

4. to use something vigorously.

[UK]R. Marsh Beetle 75: I knocked twice, I knocked thrice [...] If it is possible to make noise enough to waken the dead, you bet I’m on to it. And I was,—I punished that knocker!
[UK]‘Henry Green’ Loving (1978) 19: This is my afternoon on in case they take it into their heads to punish the bell.
[US]Hughes & Bontemps Book of Negro Folklore 314: Young Dorsey had more in his mind than just punishing a piano.
[US]S. Longstreet Flesh Peddlers (1964) 123: Years and years, the doc says, if I don’t punish the booze too often. I’ll last.
[UK]A. Payne ‘All Mod Cons’ Minder [TV script] 8: Behind the bar, an attractive girl punishing a cocktail shaker.

5. to play a musical instrument badly, thus ‘abusing’ it.

[UK]Observer 17 Dec. 1/1: An old man punishing a mandolin in Bond Street.

6. (W.I., Bdos) to desire intensely.

[WI]F. Collymore Notes for Gloss. of Barbadian Dial. 93: Punish. [...] But look at me here punishing for a drink.

In phrases

punish one’s teeth (v.)

(US tramp) to eat.

[US] ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V 460: Punish one’s teeth, to eat.