"get my lick back"Student A sneaks a lick (smack or punch) on Student B. Student B decides to retaliate and return the smack or punch, declaring that he or she is going to "get my lick back".
As an educator trying to maintain decorum it's infuriating—the tit for tat back and forth. But as an armchair linguist, I have to admire the hilariously evocative imagery of the construct: the notion of a barter-based economy of licks, where each participant "bargains" for their rightful share, seeking lick-equilibrium.
Infuriating and hilariously evocative—I'd say that sums many of the students up pretty well too.**
* "Sneak" is another key term in their jargon of youthful warfare: "I'm gonna sneak him." Which is to say, "I'm gonna punch him when he's not looking."
** Speaking of which, I saw "The Class" tonight. Damn fine movie.