A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 11, 2019
“Beat the pants off” (to defeat completely)

Entry in progress—B.P.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
to beat (also bore, scare, etc.) the pants off (a person): to beat (bore, scare, etc.) completely, utterly, or beyond the point of endurance.
1925 J. Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer ii. v. 232 Maybe when the Germans have licked the pants off her England’ll give Ireland her freedom.
1934 E. Waugh Handful of Dust iii. 133 She bores my pants off, but she’s a good trier.
1934 G. S. Kaufman & M. Hart Merrily we roll Along ii. i. 102 I’m coming down there some day and beat the pants off you boys at chess.

OCLC WorldCat record
Shoot the pants off the Japs.
Publisher: [USA?] : [publisher not identified], [approximately 1940]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Homecoming Display, 1954 “Beat the Pants Off Penn”
Publisher: Bentley Image Bank, Bentley Historical Library 1954
Edition/Format: Downloadable archival material
University of Michigan News and Information Services Photographs; University of Michigan. News and Information Services. Photographs.

OCLC WorldCat record
Step right up! ... Jon gonna scare the pants off America
Author: William Castle
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1976.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Willie Weirdie scares the pants off Al Jaffee
Author: Al Jaffee
Publisher: New York : New American Library, ©1982.
Edition/Format: Print book : Fiction : English

Urban Dictionary
beat the pants off
To completely “own”; to scare the crap out of someone; to beat someone at something
“I just beat the pants off you at Halo 3!”
by Cory N. January 02, 2008

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Wednesday, December 11, 2019 • Permalink