In Reply to: Beat the tar out of you posted by ESC on June 20, 2010 at 14:06:
: : Where did the phrase "To beat the tar out of you" come from?
: Previous discussion: One person said tar = stuffing. So it is another way of saying beat the stuffing/insides out of someone. Another thought since tar (What the tar!) = eternal damnation. Beating the evil out and the good in. http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/9/messages/814.html I think "beating the tar out of someone" is a "cleaned up" version of "beating the sh*t out of someone."
I don't believe the "stuffing" explanation. But sails, sailor's hats and many other things were dressed with tar to make them waterproof; prolonged wind and rain could beat the tar out of them, and make them permeable again. (VSD)