One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘some parents punish their children harder than they should’
penalize, discipline, mete out punishment to, bring someone to book, teach someone a lesson, make an example of
tan someone's hide, whip someone's hide
informal get, scalp, murder, wallop, thump, give it to someone, throw the book at, come down on, come down on like a ton of bricks, have someone's guts for garters, skin alive
British informal drop on, give someone what for
North American informal tear down
archaic chasten, recompense, visit
2‘Boro's in-form strikers will be quick to punish any mistakes by United's defence’
exploit, take advantage of, put to advantage, use, make use of, turn to account, turn to one's account, profit by, profit from, capitalize on, cash in on, trade on
informal walk all over
3‘a new rise in prescription charges would punish the poor’
treat harshly, treat unfairly, be unfair to, unfairly disadvantage, put at an unfair disadvantage, put in an unfavourable position, handicap, do a disservice to, make someone suffer, hurt, wrong, ill-use, maltreat
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