clean someone's clock

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by cesrob, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. cesrob Senior Member

    can you tell me what does it mean " to clean somebody's clock"?
  2. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    English (American)
    It means to beat soundly, either literally (picchiare) or figuratively (vincere a qualcosa, come un'elezione).

  3. irene.acler Senior Member

    Trento - Italy
  4. cesrob Senior Member

    Thanks for your replies!

    So if I read:
    "I'd hate to have to clean your clock in the primaries" does it mean that "I don't want you to win the primaries"?

  5. gabrigabri

    gabrigabri Senior Member

    Italian, Italy (Torino)
    Non potrebbe andare bene "vincere A/in qualcosa"?
    Vincere alla lotteria
    Ha vinto alle elezioni?
  6. irene.acler Senior Member

    Trento - Italy
    Sì, gabri, hai ragione, però nel suo post Trentina ha scritto "vincere a qualcosa, come un'elezione", e si dice "vincere un'elezione".
  7. gabrigabri

    gabrigabri Senior Member

    Italian, Italy (Torino)

    Ok, hai ragione, scusa!! :eek: ;)
  8. irene.acler Senior Member

    Trento - Italy
    No in effetti hai fatto bene a puntualizzarlo!;)
  9. pescara Senior Member

    To clean someon'e clock can mean to beat someone so badly that it is embarrassing. So, I would interpret this sentence as "I would hate to beat you so badly in the primaries that it would be embarrassing for you."
  10. mrg Senior Member

    You could even understand "I'd hate to have to" as a threat in this context. So think of it as "I promise I will" rather than "I would not like to." I'd interpret this sentence as "If you enter the election, I promise you an embarrassing defeat."

    But a backtracking question for the English speakers: I've only ever heard "to clean someone's clock" as a free-standing phrase meaning "to beat the tar out of someone." Is this more civil usage common?
  11. audia Senior Member

    Hi mrg, I have heard it also in sports.
    ""I'm gonna clean your clock on the court!""
  12. Schrodinger's_Cat

    Schrodinger's_Cat Senior Member

    New Jersey, USA
    American English
    clean someone's clock = beat, thrash, or defeat someone decisively.

    I would like to translate: That dude is much bigger than you and could easily clean your clock.

    Is it

    Quel tizio é più grande di te e potrebbe facilmente batterti/picchiarti/sconfiggerti.
  13. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    HERE in OE there is an interesting thread about 'clean your clock'.
    In your case I'd say 'può suonartele/ metterti al tappeto/ stenderti' and so on.

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