Normally, to lick refers to an action with the tongue. The word probably came to application in the other context as a belt or strap, or the strips of leather of a whip, perform a similar motion on the delinquent's skin at each stroke.
In a further extended sense, to take a licking can also mean to suffer a great loss or defeat (e.g. in sports), and to give one's opponent a licking means to defeat them. A similar usage also exists for the words spanking and to beat.
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