A beating. A corruption of strap 'eil, i.e. German theil (a dole). The play is palpable. The “April fool” asks for a
pennyworth of strap 'eil, that is dole of the strap, in French I'huile de cotret. (Latin, stroppus.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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