Posted by ESC on August 23, 2000
In Reply to: Red-headed stepchild. posted by Bob on August 22, 2000
: : : What does this mean?
: : A stepchild might be singled out for abuse. But a red-headed stepchild (who presumably looks like his or her absent birth-parent) might be abused even more because he or she is so obviously different from the other children.
: : The expression I have heard is, "I'm going to beat you like a red-headed stepchild."
: : Sad, isn't it?
: Only slightly more humane is: "beat you like a rented mule."
From "This Dog'll Hunt: An Entertaining Texas Dictionary" by Wallace O. Chariton (Wordware Publishing, Piano, Texas, 1989, 1990):
BEAT Whip him like a red-headed stepchild. Like a farmer would a stubborn mule. (I like Bob's version better.) Tie his ears in a bow knot. Knock the stuffing out of him. Take the starch out of him. Collect his tail feathers. Burn his barn. Knock him cold enough to skate on. Sheer his pin. Nail his hide to the barn (or outhouse) wall. Knock the enamel loose from his eyeteeth. Beat him so bad he had to be picked up with a sponge. Beat him until the earwax pops out of his ears. Beat him so bad it will take a week to get the sawdust out of his beard. (A reference to the ballroom floor).
And -- Hit him so hard his ancestors in (insert country) will feel it.