Hey there! Can anyone explain the meaning of the phrase: "get your licks in"? I gather it MAY mean many things, depending on the context, but in my particular one I've a hunch it means "to beat somebody up so as to relieve your frustration". Can anyone confirm or otherwise explain this for me, please?
It derives from that, but is used to say you manage to get your arguments into the discussion.
Looking for ESL work?: Try our EFL / TOEFL / ESL Jobs Section!
Thank you for your answer, but can you please be more specific, if I give you the context? My context is: someone asks "Was she abusive to her boy?", and the other person answers: "Oh, yeah! She got her licks in." Thank you!
'To get your licks in' can have a physical meaning: to get your blows in, ie to hit the other person.
Perhaps that is the meaning in your context.
Best wishes, Clive
Thank you, Clive. It was a bit confusing, you know, because I also found this expression in connection with ice-cream adverts, and even with post-stamp adverts.
In which case it is a typical advertiser's pun - combining the image of licking an ice cream or a postage stamp and the concept of getting there first.
I think the expression comes from the world of bar-room brawls -- some bad guy is getting beaten up and someone who is watching decides he wants to contribute to the mauling, and so he "gets his licks in." Nowadays, the expression could be used also to describe a verbal contest as well -- a person seeing someone getting a verbal lashing may also want to "get his licks in."