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As per the title: is I'm gonna get it an idiomatic, fixed expression? I cannot find any reference online where they provide a definition/explanation of such an expression.


I'm almost certain that in South Park they use it often (but locating a particular scene where they use it feels like a needle in a haystack). I think they also often use "they're gonna let me have it" (for example, "my parents" are gonna let me have it, which one of the children would say after they got caught doing something mischievous/naughty/etc. — but then, in that same situation, would "I'm gonna get it" fit?)

If I'm correct in what I think is the meaning of this expression, could you point me to some online definition?

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    Have you tried looking up 'get it definition'? Commented Nov 5, 2023 at 17:10
  • Didn't occur to me ­‒ in my mind, the meaning was only this meaning when using the complete expression, including the "I'm gonna" (or we're gonna, or you're gonna, etc.). For some reason, adding the "gonna" seems to completely throws off Google's search engine.
    – Cal-linux
    Commented Nov 5, 2023 at 21:40
  • Gonna is only a representation of the way some people say going to - I'm not surprised Google didn't find anything. Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 9:44
  • One kid might say to his pal, who has just done a skateboard trick off the fender of his dad's brand new car, "Oh, you're really gonna get it." A variant is "You're really in for it". Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 10:53

1 Answer 1

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AHD includes

get it: to receive a scolding or punishment

But I agree with Wiktionary that it's not the default metaphorical sense:

get it ...

(2) To understand something, to catch on.

  • If they aren't getting it, explain it a different way.
  • I thought it was hilarious, but she didn't get it.

(3) ... To get what's coming to one: to feel someone's wrath; to receive punishment; to receive a retaliation; to receive a beating.

  • After the way she spoke to him, she's really going to get it this time.
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    What do you mean by, "I agree with Wiktionary that it's not the default metaphorical sense"? What is the default metaphorical sense? Which definition do you think Wiktionary states is the correct one?
    – gotube
    Commented Nov 5, 2023 at 21:10
  • Non-historical dictionaries (and Wiktionary is one) list usages in order of currency (how often each is used). Wiktionary lists the 'catch on' sense before the 'cop it' sense. But all of the senses 1-3 they list, and if vulgar slang is allowed, sense 4, are correct. Usually, context will ensure the correct one is assumed. Commented Nov 5, 2023 at 22:29
  • How do these dictionaries measure currency? Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 12:00
  • See this article at Mantex by Roy Johnnson, for example. Especially 'More recently, the use of computers working on corpora (huge databases of language in current use) mean that dictionary compilation is far less subjective, can include both the spoken and the written word in their source material ...'. Estimates of currency can then be made. Usage panels (practised Anglophones) are also often used; this practice can flag any sampling errors that may distort estimates. Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 15:48

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