Posted by Masakim on May 05, 2002
In Reply to: Getting your clock cleaned posted by Jannie on May 05, 2002
: Does anybody know where this phrase comes from?
clean someone's clock by 1960s 1 v phr To
attack and punish someone.... 2 v phr To defeat; trounce.... [ph fr the notion
of _clock_ as "face"; perhaps fr the underworld and railroad term _clean the clock_,
"stop, esp suddenly"]
From _Dictionary of American Slang, Third Edition_ by Robert L. Chapman.
clean someone's clock, to phr. [1940s+] (orig. US) 1
to beat up severely. 2 to take all someone's money, esp. during gambling.... [fig.
use of SE; ? link to Us railroad jargon _clean the clock_, to apply the airbrakes
and thus bring the train the train to a sudden stop. The 'clock' in question is
the air gauge, which on halting, immediately registers zero and is thus 'clean']
From _Cassel's Dictionary of Slang_ by Jonathon Green.