tan someone's hide

tan

1 [tan]
verb (used with object), tanned, tanning.
1.
to convert (a hide) into leather, especially by soaking or steeping in a bath prepared from tanbark or synthetically.
2.
to make brown by exposure to ultraviolet rays, as of the sun.
3.
Informal. to thrash; spank.
verb (used without object), tanned, tanning.
4.
to become tanned.
noun
5.
the brown color imparted to the skin by exposure to the sun or open air.
6.
yellowish brown; light brown.
adjective, tanner, tannest.
8.
of the color of tan; yellowish-brown.
9.
used in or relating to tanning processes, materials, etc.
Idioms
10.
tan someone's hide, Informal. to beat someone soundly: She threatened to tan our hides if she found us on her property again.

Origin:
before 1000; 1920–25 for def 2; Middle English tannen to make hide into leather, late Old English *tannian (in past participle getanned; cf. tanner1) < Medieval Latin tannāre, derivative of tannum oak bark, tanbark < Germanic; compare Old High German tanna oak, fir, akin to Dutch den fir

tannable, adjective
untanned, adjective
well-tanned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tan1 (tæn)
 
n
1.  the brown colour produced by the skin after intensive exposure to ultraviolet rays, esp those of the sun
2.  a light or moderate yellowish-brown colour
3.  short for tanbark
 
vb , tans, tanning, tanned
4.  to go brown or cause to go brown after exposure to ultraviolet rays: she tans easily
5.  to convert (a skin or hide) into leather by treating it with a tanning agent, such as vegetable tannins, chromium salts, fish oils, or formaldehyde
6.  slang (tr) to beat or flog
 
adj , tans, tanning, tanned, tanner, tannest
7.  of the colour tan: tan gloves
8.  used in or relating to tanning
 
[Old English tannian (unattested as infinitive, attested as getanned, past participle), from Medieval Latin tannāre, from tannum tanbark, perhaps of Celtic origin; compare Irish tana thin]
 
'tannable1
 
adj
 
'tannish1
 
adj

tan2 (tæn)
 
abbreviation for
tangent (sense 2)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tan
late O.E. tannian "to convert hide into leather" (by steeping it in tannin), from M.L. tannare "tan, dye, a tawny color" (c.900), from tannum "crushed oak bark," used in tanning leather, probably from a Celtic source (e.g. Breton tann "oak tree"). The meaning "make brown by exposure to the sun" first
recorded 1530. To tan (someone's) hide in the figurative sense is from 1670. The adj. tan "of the color of tanned leather" is recorded from 1665; the noun sense of "bronze color imparted to skin by exposure to sun" is from 1749; as a simple name for a brownish color, in any context, it is recorded from 1888.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
tan  
Abbreviation of tangent
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
tan
tangent
TAN
teeny area network
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

tan someone's hide

Also, have someone's hide. Spank or beat someone, as in Dad said he'd tan Billy's hide if he caught him smoking, or I'll have your hide if you take something without paying for it. This term uses hide in the sense of "skin." The allusion in the first expression is to a spanking that will change one's skin just as chemicals tan animal hide (convert it into leather). [Second half of 1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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