Grammar Patterns

a N

The 'talking-to' group

These nouns refer to verbal and physical punishment. This use is productive: other ways of talking about punishment are also sometimes used with a.
I try to reason with him but sometimes he just doesn't listen and I end up shouting at him or giving him a smack.
He was put in the back of a police car and given a talking-to.
Both networks got an earful yesterday from angry viewers.
  • beating
  • blast
  • bollocking
  • dressing-down
  • earful
  • pasting
  • pounding
  • rap
  • roasting
  • rollicking
  • smack
  • talking-to
  • telling-off
  • thrashing
  • ticking-off
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