Do A Number On Meaning

(idiomatic) To damage; to treat harshly; to produce ill effects on.

Example: 1974, "Sports: Full-time Franco Busts A Couple, Rushes For 141," Pittsburgh Press, 29 Oct., p. 26 (retrieved 20 Aug. 2010):
  Last night, Harris went the distance and did a number on the Falcons, running for a career-high 141 yards while carrying the ball more often than he ever has.
1988, Chet Currier, "Obstacles remaining in market's path to revival," Reading Eagle (USA), 25 Sept., p. B4 (retrieved 20 Aug. 2010):
  Hopes have faded lately on Wall Street. . . . "This market is really doing a number on both professionals and the public alike," said Sam Weinstein in his investment advisory letter.
2007, Laura Fitzpatrick, "The Newest Addictions on Campus," Time, 12 Aug.:
  All-night caffeine-fueled video game binges do "a number on your body," says Essenburg.