Green’s Dictionary of Slang

knocked up adj.

[knock up v. (2)]

1. tired, jaded, used up.

[UK]M.P. Andrews Belphegor (1788) 7: My horse was knocked up and I was obliged to leave him.
[UK]Mme D’Arblay Diary (1891) II 588: So he’s quite knocked up!
[UK] ‘Diary of a Sporting Etonian’ Sporting Mag. Dec. XV 111/1: Knocked up – pain in my side.
[UK]J. Poole Hamlet Travestie III ii: Two wretched knock’d-up hacks to draw his hearse.
[UK]T. Creevey letter ? May in Gore Creevey Papers (1948) 94: We sat this morning till four [...] so am knocked up and can add no more.
[UK]‘An Amateur’ Real Life in London I 187: The dancing party was knock’d up, and were lobbing their lollys, half asleep and half awake, on the table, bowing as it were to the magnanimous influence of Old Tom.
[UK]Dickens Martin Chuzzlewit (1995) 295: ‘I wish you would pull off my boots for me,’ said Martin, dropping into one of the chairs. ‘I am quite knocked up.’.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 30 Sept. : Mr Atkinson, half asleep, half awake, and wholly knocked up from his exertions on the ‘light fantastic ’.
[UK]H. Kingsley Recollections of G. Hamlyn (1891) 215: I forgot till this moment a most important message. I was rather knocked up, you see, and went to sleep, and that sent it out of my head.
[UK]E. Eden Semi-Attached Couple (1979) 52: I may as well write tonight, though I am completely knocked up.
[Aus]M. Clarke Term of His Natural Life (1897) 149: Go and sleep, my man [...] You are knocked up. We’ll talk in the morning.
[UK]J. Greenwood Tag, Rag & Co. 102: I was that dead knocked up that I fell asleep with the reins in my hands.
[Ind]L. Emanuel Jottings [...] of a Bengal ‘qui hye’ 125: Every one [...] being quite tired, done-up and knocked-up.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Knocked Up’ in Roderick (1967–9) I 244: I’m too knocked up to eat a bite—I’m too knocked up to smoke.
[Aus]G. Boothby On the Wallaby 262: Owing to the scarcity of grass our horses had next to nothing to eat, and were well-nigh knocked up.
[UK]New Boys’ World 22 Dec. 79: Sit down, mate; you look a bit knocked up.
H. Lawson ‘The Strangers’ Friend’ in Lone Hand (Sydney) Nov. 20/1: One man was knocked up and very ill.
[Aus]Sun (Kalgoorlie, WA) 27 July 8/5: [US speaker] ‘We’ve had such a run of glad-hand stunts that every other morning we feel “all in,” or in Australian parlance, “quite knocked up”’.
[UK]C. Holme Lonely Plough (1931) 211: Mr. Wigmore was knocked up, probably wanted to rest.
[UK]G. Ingram Cockney Cavalcade 244: I see her going to work the other day, and she looks fair knocked up.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 198: The girl and the boy were ‘knocked up’. They could not possibly go on.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 63: They’re not hurting each other. They’re knocked up. There isn’t enough force behind any of those punches to blow a candle out.
[Aus]R.S. Close With Hooves of Brass 114: [T]he gang were feeling knocked up after the day in the burning heat, and the long climb up the track at the end of it.
[US](con. WWII) J.O. Killens And Then We Heard The Thunder (1964) 377: Will you please take me home? I’m knocked up.
[Aus]N. Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 138: When an Australian girl announces she is ‘knocked up’ she means tired out.

2. bankrupt, impoverished.

[Ire]J. O’Keeffe Dead Alive (1783) 5: Poor master’s knock’d up at last.
[UK]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 6 Mar. 46/2: My business is completely knocked up.

3. dead.

[UK] ‘On the Death of Benjamin Bryant, commonly called Big Ben’ in Sporting Mag. June IV 179/2: Big Ben knock’d up, and boxing now no more.
[US]L. Pound ‘American Euphemisms for Dying’ in AS XI:3 199: Knocked off/up/over.

4. (Irish) drunk.

[UK]C. Dibdin Yngr Song Smith 77: My dose last night I tuk it [...] Myself was knock’d up, and the watchmen knock’d down.
[UK]C.L. Lewes Comic Sketches 26: While others would say he had, ‘Bung’d his eye — Was knocked up — How came ye so — Had got his little hat on — Top-Heavy — Pot- Valiant — That he had been in the sun — That he was in for it’.
[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 9 Feb. 43/3: elements of fuddling 1. Comfortable. 2 Merry. 3. Noisy. 4. Tipsy. 5. Fairly in for’t. 6. Done up. 7. Amorous. 8. Knock’d down. 9. Knock’d up. 10. Finish’d.
[Ire] ‘Biddy Magee’ Dublin Comic Songster 338: The whiskey wint round in quarts galore, / Those who were knock’d up fell on the flure.
[UK]‘William Juniper’ True Drunkard’s Delight.

5. (orig. US, also knocked) pregnant.

[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 166: knocked up In the United States, amongst females, the phrase is equivalent to being enceinte, so that Englishmen often unconsciously commit themselves when amongst our Yankee cousins.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Lustful Memoirs of a Young and Passionated Girl 36: I saw he was afraid she might be knocked up as he expressed it.
[US]J.T. Farrell Gas-House McGinty 223: I got a Polack Jane knocked up.
[US]F. Brown Fabulous Clipjoint (1949) 7: I hope she’s smart because otherwise she’ll be coming home knocked up one of these days.
[US](con. c.1915) in Randolph & Legman Ozark Folksongs and Folklore (1992) II 629: I believe I’m knocked up higher than a kite.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 86: They find that she bin knocked up.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 83: We didnt know she was knocked up until she was about 7 months gone.
[US]J. Thompson ‘Sunrise at Midnight’ in Fireworks (1988) 169: So go peddle your ass [...] You’re already knocked up, so what’s to worry?
[US]D. Woodrell Muscle for the Wing 207: How would you know you’re knocked up?
[UK]Neil Palmer ‘Vegan Reich’ in Home Suspect Device 29: The knocked-up bitch smelled fantastic.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Birthday 36: Jenny’s parents didn’t put a spoke in the wheel as long as she wasn’t knocked up.
[Aus]L. Redhead Thrill City [ebook] Why the hell did I have to get knocked up by a broke journo?
[US] M. McBride Frank Sinatra in a Blender [ebook] So you’re sayin’ if this broad you’re seein’ got knocked up you’d let her keep it?

6. (Aus.) of an animal, angry.

[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Colonial Reformer III 164: There wouldn’t have been any sense in charging the whole family, like a knocked-up bullock meeting a picnic party.

7. emotional, floored by emotion.

[Aus]K. Tennant Foveaux 46: He’s got me completely knocked up. I’m a lonely man. [...] I cry meself to sleep sometimes.

8. defeated, in a difficult situation.

[US]L. Bruce Essential Lenny Bruce 50: He has the film industry knocked up.