knock the living daylights out of (someone)
- (idiomatic) To beat or strike someone.
1939, Ruth McKenney, Industrial Valley, →ISBN, page 255:
- Boy, the fellows said he just knocked the living daylights out of him, bounced him six feet across the ground.
- (idiomatic) To thoroughly and decisively defeat someone in a physical fight, especially by knocking out that person.
1954, Denzil Batchelor, Big Fight: The Story of World Championship Boxing, OCLC 7388776, page 65:
- He won the English championship from the six-foot-three-inch, seventeen-stone Sam Hurst, the Staleybridge Infant, knocking the living daylights out of this champion
- (figuratively) To greatly excel against (someone or something).
1963, “10 second summary”, in Business Management, volume 25, page 38:
- ...where new and better depreciation regulations and a 7% business investment credit knocked the living daylights out of normal and historical accounting procedures...