Open main menu

Wiktionary β



Alternative formsEdit


Unknown. Probably of Irish origin.



down the banks

  1. (slang, dated, Ireland, Liverpudlian) a severe criticism, scolding, reprimand, or punishment
    • 1855, Albany Register, "An Independent Voter" (reprinted in Supplement to the Connecticut Courant, volume 20, number 27, page 211):
      Independent woters ain't the chalk—and the K. Ns. has done it!— They've spiled the trade. Sam's done it—Amerikins has done it! Take 'em up for interfeerin' with other people's bisness. Give 'em down the banks; send em up ninety days; give em that,"—and he struck straight out at an imaginary head, with a force that sent him with a lurch across the sidewalk, up against the side of the buildings.
    • 2009 October 1, Wexford Echo, "Little Angel Davina’s massive legacy in €25,000 fundraiser"
      In a time in Ireland when politicians and public representatives and others are getting down the banks (if you’ll pardon the pun), a special word of gratitude goes to TD John Browne and Enniscorthy Town Councillor Keith Doyle for their support.

Usage notesEdit

  • Typically A gives B down the banks; B gets down the banks from A.


Prepositional phraseEdit

down the banks

  1. (slang, obsolete, New York) in prison