I was looking into my dictionary that lists many uses of the verb bash but always transitive ones.

According to that, I would expect to say:

He bashed him.
He bashed the chair.

But I can see examples on the Internet saying e.g.:

I'm not gonna bash on people for speeding through.

How come? Why not just "bash people"?

  • For the same reason that some people say "beat up on" rather than "beat ... up"? And some people say "meet up with" rather than "meet"? And "listen up" for "listen"? I've not heard "bash on", but it doesn't surprise me. – Colin Fine May 25 '12 at 12:13

See also Origin of "hating on" .

Adding "on" to an action is a construction popularized by hip-hop music and culture.


To me, the "on" adds meaning to the phrase "bash on" or "beat on": it tends to indicate that the action is ongoing, or not complete.

I bashed on the hood of the 1959 Galaxie Fairlane with my fist.

says that I (futilely) beat on the the hood.

I bashed the hood of the Prius.

says the hood is definitely bashed in.


Not to bash on the bloggers, but that sounds rather informal to me. Ngrams indicates the literature is much more well-disciplined.

enter image description here Note: Flipping through the results found for "bash on" (the yellow line) reveals mostly hits where the word is not being used that way (e.g., "We're all going to the bash on Friday.")

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