clean someone's clock

Idioms & Phrases

clean someone's clock

Beat, thrash, or defeat someone decisively, as in He's much bigger than you and could easily clean your clock. This term originated in the military. The use of clock is unclear but possibly alludes to hitting someone in the face (for "clockface"). [Slang; mid-1900s]

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