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  • verb Present participle of woodshed.


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  • I know this phenomenon, but never heard it called by this name.

    "The meeting was designed to discover the truth before the official inquiry started—either that, or else it was meant to make sure that everyone got his story straight before the judge advocate took a crack at the case. Trial lawyers call it 'woodshedding.' If trials were designed purely to get to the truth, then witnesses could just tell their stories and answer whatever questions were put to them. But neither party to a trial is normally interested in the truth. Instead, each party is more concerned with winning. And with such an agenda and a capable courtroom lawyer, the truth often suffers a mauling. To prepare for a ruthless cross-examination, then, an attorney will take witnesses out to the woodshed for a little heart-to-heart talk, a lesson in how to answer the other side's questions ... without violating, of course, the witness's oath to tell the truth.

    "Woodshedding is a commonplace practice in any big case. An attorney might even be failing in his duties if he doesn't woodshed his clients...."

    —Buckner F. Melton, Jr., A Hanging Offense: The Strange Affair of the Warship Somers (New York and London: Free Press, 2003), 174–175.

    April 26, 2009

  • This is kind of weird, because taking someone to the woodshed has quite a different connotation than this term.

    April 26, 2009

  • I agree, seanahan, but I can't remember whether taking someone out to the woodshed has to do with sex or punishment (maybe both for some). Can you enlighten me?

    April 26, 2009

  • Punishment generally, unless you're into sadomasochism.

    April 27, 2009

  • Also used to describe marking up a script to add pauses and inflections. One slash for a pause, two for a long pause, and an underline for emphasis. It's called "woodshedding" because the slashes are thought to resemble axe marks.

    March 5, 2018