whale away

Attack physically or verbally, as in Our boys whaled away at the enemy, or The talk-show host whaled away at the hostile critics. The word whale here does not allude to the ocean mammal, but means “flog” or “thrash.” [Mid-1800s]


Nearby words

  1. whacky,
  2. whaikorero,
  3. whakairo,
  4. whakapapa,
  5. whale,
  6. whale catcher,
  7. whale of a time,
  8. whale oil,
  9. whale shark,
  10. whaleback

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.