‘Molly Whop Someone’: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

By Sophia Merton, updated on December 16, 2022

Did you overhear someone saying that they’re going to ‘Molly whop someone’? What does this mean, and should you be concerned?

To ‘Molly whop someone’ means to beat someone up or hit someone. This is an American slang phrase that was first used in the 1980s.

What Does 'Molly Whop Someone' Mean?

If you ‘Molly whop someone’ it means that you hit them hard or beat them up. This is a slang phrase that has a number of alternative spellings, including:

  • Mollywop
  • Molly-wop
  • Molly-whop
  • Molly wop

The act of ‘Molly whopping someone’ is a deliberate act, meaning you wouldn’t use this slang term if you hit someone accidentally.

This phrase can also be used to describe beating someone in a game rather than actually physically beating them up.

You can both say that you are going to ‘molly whop someone’ when you’re threatening to beat someone up, or you can say that someone was ‘molly whopped’ if they were beaten badly in a fight.

When someone is ‘molly whopped,’ it means that the fight was seriously lop-sided, where one party is dominant over the other.

Where Does 'Molly Whop Someone' Come From?

The idea that to ‘Molly whop someone’ meant to beat them severely first appeared during the 1980s. It is believed that the phrase originated in the Bay Area as it is most prevalently used in the San Francisco area.

The phrase ‘Molly whop’ also made an appearance in the early ‘90s American television sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. In an episode of the show titled “To Thine Own Self Be Blue…and Gold,” Will Smith says:

“That's right. You best to press off or you'll get straight Molly whopped up in here. I should have wrote that one down too, right?”

This slang phrase was first entered into Urban Dictionary, the popular crowdsourced online dictionary for slang, in 2003.

Examples of 'Molly Whop Someone' In Sentences

You might want to be careful throwing the phrase ‘Molly whop’ around, as these are fighting words. With that caveat in mind, let’s look at some example sentences:

  • “I was just pushin’ P and minding my own business while this guy came out of nowhere saying he wanted to Molly whop me.
  • “Jonathan started yelling at Tim in the office today, saying he was going to Molly whop him. Needless to say, Jonathan was sent home early and is probably going to get fired.”
  • “Ricky, that guy is a famous professional MMA fighter. The last thing you want to do is start yelling that you’re going to Molly whop him in a bar.”
  • “Sarah is used to a pretty posh lifestyle, so you can only imagine the surprise on her face when two men started screaming at each other about how they were going to Molly whop each other.”
  • “I’m glad to hear you held your own in the fight last night. I was afraid he was going to Molly whop you.”
  • “Maybe you’re expecting a civil and peaceful game of Scrabble, but I’m telling you right now that I’m going to absolutely Molly whop you.”

Other Ways to Say 'Molly Whop Someone'

There are a lot of ways to say that you’re going to beat someone up or that someone got beat up badly. Here are some examples:

  • Rough up
  • Work over
  • Mess up
  • Knock around
  • Batter
  • Pulverize
  • Hit
  • Beat
  • Smack
  • Knock the living daylights out of
  • Do over (Australian, British, and New Zealand slang)
  • Lay into
  • Bash (someone’s) brains in

Let’s face it: getting ‘Molly whopped’ is never fun. Instead, why don’t you stick around and learn some more fascinating idioms and phrases? Perhaps you’d like to know more about what it means to be a gentleman and a scholar (who would never ‘Molly whop’ someone without good reason), or maybe you’d like to read about the encouraging phrase keep up the good work.

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Written By:
Sophia Merton
Sophia Merton is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Sophia received her BA from Vassar College. She is passionate about reading, writing, and the written word. Her goal is to help everyone, whether native English speaker or not, learn how to write and speak with perfect English.

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