E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Keel-hauling or -haling.
A long, troublesome, and vexatious examination or repetition of annoyances from a landlord or government official. In the Dutch and many other navies, delinquents were, at one time, tied to a yard-arm with weights on their feet, and dragged by a rope under the keel of a ship, in at one side and out at the other. The result was often fatal.