Beat Six Ways From Sunday

Here is a guy getting beaten, Six Ways From Sunday
Here is a guy getting beaten, Six Ways From Sunday

Origin of the Phrase: Beat Six Ways From Sunday

Until recent times, Catholicism was all the rage. Disbelievers, or heretics, had a rough time of it. So rough, in fact, that the Pope sent out orders to every Archbishop in the land to beat the devil out of the person who showed up last to services each Sunday. The poor sap was beaten Monday through Saturday of the following week, each day with a different instrument: Stout Mace, Iron-tipped Boot, Broad Sword (flat edge, not the sharp edge), Wide Belt, Stones, Ice (winter) or Cabbage (summer). Although this practice was abandoned in 1982, memories remain strong, especially amongst the wretched.  And so it came to pass that the phrase “beat six ways from Sunday” was used to describe someone or something who was beaten.

Also, to build upon the strong historical roots of the phrase, “Beat Six Ways From Sunday”, it is interesting to mention that many counties in the United States still have laws on the books banning liquor sales on Sundays.  The reasoning behind this seemingly arbitrary law actually is not arbitrary at all.  The powers that be decided many, many years ago that liquor was absolutely not to be offered to the beaten on Sundays as they are to stand as a solemn reminder for their lateness to church services the week before.  Liquor stores are closed as a grim reminder to the Catholics, that they mustn’t dilly dally and get their asses into a church before the church bell tolls.  Of course, they are free to drink all the wine they wish at the service.

Current Usage

Mostly applied to cornerbacks burned in coverage.  This phrase is also commonly heard in kitchens as in, “I beat this cake’s batter six ways from Sunday, but the cake still is piss poor quality!”

Current Popularity

Medium in America and Europe, low elsewhere.