One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Beat or attack (someone) violently.‘they weren't against laying about you with sticks and stones’
- ‘Dancers, casting aside their cloaks, revealed themselves as lightly armored fighters who drew all manner of weapons and began laying about them with a will.’
- ‘The guards laid about them, striking men and women with the flats of their swords.’
- ‘They laid about him with the back of their axes and overwhelmed him with stones and (thigh) bones and ox heads.’
- 1.1lay about one Strike out wildly on all sides.‘the mare laid about her with her front legs and teeth’
- ‘Behave churlishly and rudely, treating everyone you encounter like some kind of moron and generally laying about you with a riding crop.’
- ‘I'm getting on a bit myself but I am quite willing and capable of laying about myself with a stick if need be.’
- ‘Mary alone attempted to resist by force the intrusion of these soldiers, laying about her with a parasol to fend off the men trying to get through the bedroom door.’
- ‘The standard image of a barbarian is some bloodthirsty crazy shouting out incomprehensible threats and laying about him /em> with a massive axe.’
- ‘Now Big Larry kept the crowd from annoying the couple, by properly laying about him with a switch all along the road.’
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