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If you think whatever car you have now is bad, take a sledge hammer to the rims, to the windows, okay, maybe not that bad, but abuse it for 20 years and that's the brand new version of our car.

Is this usage common? I tried to find uses of "take to" to mean hit but couldn't find something tangible.

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It means "use a sledge hammer to attack the rims". The form of the idiom I know best would be "take to the rims with a sledge hammer", and "take to" could be replaced by "attack". If a sledge hammer is used that is naturally by hitting. "Took to the curtains with the scissors" means "attacked the curtains (by cutting them up) with the scissors". "His father took to him with a belt" would often describe vigorous corporal punishment.

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    Australian usage must be different. I (UK) find take a hammer to something much more idiomatic than take to something with a hammer. Sep 17, 2022 at 8:06
  • "You could take a sledge hammer to my face and it wouldn't be as transparent as this man's agenda here." In this sentence how can hitting a face with a hammer make it transparent? Is this idiomatic use standard?
    – Satya
    Sep 17, 2022 at 19:13
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    That one is very odd, and not standard at all. I’m not even sure whether it is trying to say the agenda is transparent or opaque, clear or unclear.
    – Peter
    Sep 18, 2022 at 2:03

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