Mop the floor with someone and wipe the floor with someone are two variations of an idiom. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words, or other parts of speech is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, in the same boat, bite the bullet, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker. We will examine the meaning of the idioms mop the floor with someone and wipe the floor with someone, where they came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.
To mop the floor with someone or wipe the floor with someone means to defeat him soundly, to vanquish him in a humiliating manner, to leave no doubt of one’s superiority in a contest. The idioms mop the floor with someone and wipe the floor with someone came into use in the latter half of the 1800s and originated in the United States. Related phrases are mops the floor with someone and wipes the floor with someone, mopped the floor with someone and wiped the floor with someone, mopping the floor with someone and wiping the floor with someone. The variation wipe the floor with someone is about twice as popular as the phrase mop the floor with someone.
The widespread belief is that the Raw women’s Elimination Chamber match will be an absolute cakewalk for Baszler, who has a ton of supporters backstage and is likely going to mop the floor with virtually everyone in the match. (Forbes Magazine)
Then he mopped the floor with Shimon Peres before going on to win that year’s election. (The Times of Israel)
“I just don’t think that the way to see meaningful change happening is to win and wipe the floor with the other side,” he says. (Philadelphia Magazine)
In the past few years, computers have wiped the floor with top human players in board and card games such as go, poker and Hanabi, as well as in challenging video games such as Dota 2, Starcraft II and Quake III Arena. (The Washington Post)