Lower the boom

Lower the boom is an American idiom. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom lower the boom, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

Lower the boom means to act suddenly and forcefully to punish someone or force him to adhere to a set of rules. Lower the boom means to harshly reprimand someone or punish him severely. The expression lower the boom came into use in the United States in the early twentieth century and has a roundabout etymology. The phrase was first used to mean to deliver a knockout punch in a boxing bout; however, it is an allusion to the boom on a ship, which is a spar on a mast that may be raised and lowered. Related phrases are lowers the boom, lowered the boom, lowering the boom.

Examples

African gang clears over ¥100 million in marriage scams before police lower the boom (Japan Today)

Sure, the bill was written to lower the boom on big social media platforms like Facebook, but what’s to stop a newly emboldened Legislature from passing more laws that punish other businesses for speech they don’t like? (Orlando Sentinel)

The board was afraid the Michigan Legislature was going to lower the boom on the university and start taking away state aid in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual assaults scandal. (Detroit Free Press)

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