volée de bois vert

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From the 18th century. Volée possibly refers to volée de coups (a flurry of hits), administered to disobedient children with un bâton de bois vert (a cane made from green, or simply fresh wood, as opposed to dry wood, which breaks easily).


volée de bois vert f (plural volées de bois vert)

  1. severe reprimand, often to correct an undesirable behaviour
  2. harsh criticism