A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Knock down ginger

Knock down ginger is the name of a children’s street game dating from the early 19th century where children knock on doors and then run away before th...

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Knock into a cocked hat

see Cocked hat


Knock into shape

see Lick into shape


Knock it off

Meaning to desist or refrain from doing or saying something is an American idiom from the late 19th century.


Knock off/knock-off

To knock off work i.e. to stop working, dates from the mid-1600s. To knock something off can mean to do something hastily and without precision, and d...

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Knock on wood

see Touch/Touching wood


Knock one’s socks off

see Knock someone’s socks off


Knock someone for a loop

To knock someone for a loop is to astound or amaze someone, but it can also signify a physical assault, depending on the context. This expression is A...

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Knock someone for six

To knock or hit someone for six means to astound, amaze or flabbergast someone and in this figurative sense dates from the late 19th/early 20th centur...

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Knock someone into next week or the middle of next week

Means to punch or to hit someone very hard. The expression is American and dates from around 1836.


Knock someone’s block off

Block has been slang for head since the early 1600s but this idiom dates from the late 19th/ early 20th century. See also Blockhead.


Knock someone’s socks off

In the mid-19th century, this expression was originally connected with brawling, when fist fights could be so fierce that some protagonists would lite...

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Knock spots off someone or something

To be far better than, to surpass or defeat easily, British informal dates from the late 19th century. The only explanation forthcoming for the spots...

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Knock-knock, who’s there?

Knock-knock is of course the opening gambit and who’s there is the obligatory question, which is then usually answered by a pun based on someone’s nam...

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Knock/beat the stuffing out of someone or something

To dishearten, demoralise someone to the point of capitulation and defeat, dates from the late 19th century, from the allusion of draining someone of...

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