trip to the woodshed

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Probably derived from the previous term "horseshedding," meaning to take a person privately (such as to a horse shed or woodshed, separate buildings away from the house) for private cajoling or reprimand.[1]


  • (file)


trip to the woodshed (plural trips to the woodshed)

  1. (chiefly US, idiomatic) An occasion on which a reprimand or punishment is administered privately.
    • 1948 December 13, “Sweet Reasonableness”, in Time:
      More than a few of the 3,000 members of the National Association of Manufacturers, gathered for their annual convention in Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel last week, felt like small boys worrying about a trip to the woodshed. None knew how vindictive or friendly toward business the Truman Administration would be.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [[w:William Safire|Safire, William]] (December 13, 1981), “On Language By William Safire: Woodshed Blues”, in The New York Times[1], retrieved 8 November 2020, page 16