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In association with my question about the meaning of “chemical Mickey” in Time magazine’s article “The science of romance: Why we love,” (Jan. 28, 2008) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1704672,00.html, there was the following sentence;

Men see ample breasts and broad hips as indicators of a woman's ability to bear and nurse children--though most don't think about such matters so lucidly. Women see a broad chest and shoulders as a sign of someone who can clobber a steady supply of meat and keep lions away from the cave.

I was amused to find the word, “clobber” which I understand only in the range of meaning, 1. hit sb very hard. 2. (usually passive) affect sb badly or push them. 3. (often passive) defeat sb. completely as defined in OALED, being used in this way.

What does ‘clobber’ mean in the above quote? 'Clobber meat'- if you had to, or if you are a butcher or a boxer - is understandble. But can I clobber 'supply' - an abstruct concept, not meat - a concrete object, like shut down the supply line - logistics? In other word, I can clobber "a lump" of meat, but I cann't clobber "supply" of meat. I hope you understand the point I'm hunging up.

Does the “Clobber” have the meaning other than defined in the OALED?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

"Clobber a steady supply of meat" is the writer's shorthand way of saying "clobber (kill) a steady stream of animals and turn them into meat". The meaning is clear to a native speaker (for whom "clobber" was already a familiar word), but this does not constitute a new meaning; it's just the writer being cute.

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I interpret the specific use of "clobber" by the author, to evoke the image of the stereotypical caveman leaving the cave to provide for his family by using a club to beat (clobber) prey.

Definition from the FreeDictionary.com:

tr.v. clob·bered, clob·ber·ing, clob·bers

Slang

  1. To strike violently and repeatedly; batter or maul.
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