Posted by The Fallen on February 11, 2002
In Reply to: Clean your clock posted by ESC on February 10, 2002
: : : : Does anyone know the
origination/true translations of the phrase:
: : : : "clean your clock"
: : : 'Clock' was certainly Cockney slang for 'face' when I was a boy. This may help give an explanation. More I don't know.
: : To clean someone's clock (for them) means to punch someone in the face. Clock is indeed London slang for face, though it is not as far as I know rhyming slang - and is simply derived from clocks also having faces. Why "to clean" should in this case mean to hit or strike is beyond me.
: To access previous discussions about "clean your clock," type in "clock" under the archive search. I don't think anyone came up with a definitive answer. My interpretation of the meaning: to best someone in a confrontation, physical or otherwise.
Just for reference, the more usual Cockney slang term for "face" is "boat". This is rhyming slang, and a contraction of "boat race". Why "boat race"? I suppose because there is a famous boat race held every year along the river Thames between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and so this phrase would be somewhat relevant to any inhabitant of London.