assorted punches

Here are more idioms from the world of boxing.

one-two punch

Any strong or effective combination of two things. In boxing, this means a left-hand jab immediately followed by a right cross. The jab, usually thrown with 60% power, is designed to get the fighter throwing the jab in range while distracting the opponent. The right cross is a longer punch, delivered with full power.

In football, the phrase means the combination of a good passer and a good receiver. In fencing, it means a type of attack made up of two movements.

pull (one’s) punches 

To hold back from using full force, as when a boxer does not use his or her full strength.

It means to pull back during a punch, just before the full force of the blow is delivered, to hit less hard than one can. The figurative form of the expression means to use less force than one is capable of exerting; to be cautious, gentle, lenient, or restrained, especially in one’s criticism or reactions.

beat (someone) to the punch 

This comes from boxing and means to get in the first hit. It applies, of course, to many things besides boxing.

Then, of course, there’s the kind of punch you drink, but seven a.m. is a little early for that. Unless you work the night shift. 

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