Green’s Dictionary of Slang

knock v.

1. in senses of lit. or fig. aggression.

(a) to have sexual intercourse.

[UK]Florio Worlde of Wordes n.p.: Cunnuta, a woman nocked [sic].
[UK]Marston Malcontent III iii: I ... have beate my Shoomaker, knockt my Sempsters, cuckold my Pothecary.
[UK] ‘Room for a Jovial Tinker’ in Farmer Merry Songs and Ballads (1897) I 44: The Lady lay down on the bed, so did the Tinker too: / Although the Tinker knockt amain, the Lady was not offended.
[UK]J.D. Knave in Graine III iii: And ever he gave her a bob, And ever he gave her a blow: But where he knockt her once above, He thumpt her thrice below.
[UK]Mercurius Democritus 22-29 Dec. 300: The Journey-man gave her a bob, a bob, / The Master gave her a blow, / The Journey-man knock’d her twice above , / And the Master he presd’d her below.
[UK]New Brawle 8: [Y]e had been at Mount-Mill a knocking with the Tinker.
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 13 23–30 Aug. 120: When you have knock’d them once above, they’l tickle your pockets below; But if you knock them twice above, they’l Pox your flesh below.
[UK]Wandring Whore III 8: Her pitiful, shifting, vapouring husband got the palsy and trembling throughout his joynts with over-much drinking, or too much knocking.
[UK] ‘The Ranting Wanton’s Resolution’ in Ebsworth Bagford Ballads (1878) II 479: Such sinners as these / My pallat will please, / Fo this is a lad that will knock it, / Provided he be / Not Niggard to me.
[UK]Fumblers-Hall 14: Kate Knock-well: I am your Worships humble / Hand-maid and do tell, / He that knocks best / Can knock at best but well.
[UK] ‘The Country-man’s Delight’ in Playford Pills to Purge Melancholy II 126: The Night is Spent / With more content, / For then we all agree, / To Cock it and Dock it, / Smock it and Knock it, / Under the Green-wood Tree.
[UK]J. Spinke Quackery Unmask’d 11: [He would] kn-ck his Wife with either Bells, or a Piece of Cork (with a Hole in’t) on his Pr-ck.
[UK] in D’Urfey Pills to Purge Melancholy IV 126: For then we all agree; / To Cock it and Dock it, / Smock and knock it, / Under the Green-wood Tree.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: To knock a woman; to have carnal knowledge of her.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 26 Jan. 25/1: I[s] this the same young woman he knocked down near the Angel at Islington, what a silly girl it is.
[UK]Peeping Tom (London) 29 116/2: ‘No [...] they are not knocking for me — they are knocking for another boy’.
[UK]T. Keyes All Night Stand 110: It was few moments before I realized that I was actually knocking her.
[US]Ed Bullins ‘Dandy’ in King Black Short Story Anthol. (1972) 72: Don’t ya know how to knock, bitch?
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 4: get knocked – have sex.
[US]UGK ‘Quit Hatin’ The South’ 🎵 In Benz, big blue lens, knock this bitch and fuck with her friend.

(b) (UK Und.) to rob, to steal; thus (late 18C) knock the lobb, breaking and entering.

[UK]Proceedings Old Bailey 29 Apr. 151/2: I heard him say he got twelve shillings once by knocking the lobb. q: What is that? fisher: That is breaking open a place.
[UK]Sporting Times 22 Mar. 2/4: I knocks a kiss off her, and runs out the door.
[Aus]Truth (Perth) 27 Feb. 8/5: ‘It is scandalous the way these warders bleed us blokes,’ he said with disarming inconsequence. ‘It’s a cruel shame the way they knock us blokes’.
[US]‘John Eagle’ Hoodlums (2021) 150: ‘[W]e can knock the pickup man [...] Throw a scare, loosen him up, grab the money and leave’.
[US]E. Bunker Little Boy Blue (1995) 217: You knock the mark for whatever he’s got in his pocket.
[US]T.R. Houser Central Sl. 33: knock it To steal a car.
R.J. Martin ‘Pimp Game ’76’ in ThugLit Jan. [ebook] ‘[T]here's only two ways to get started. Either you “knock”—like, pull some other man’s girl, or you got to turn somebody out’.

(c) to excel, to surpass [subseq. uses are SE].

[US]Knickerbocker (N.Y.) XLII 55: He ‘knocked’ all the adjacent male population, native and imported, in the matter of looks [DA].
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Dec. 20/2: ‘Well, she knocks everything,’ thought he. ‘I thought Mary was a corker, but this ’un beats her into a cocked ’at.’.

(d) (US/Aus.) to kill, to shoot dead.

[US]D. Chisholm Civil War Notebook (1989) 135: I can knock a Johnny every clip at 4 or 5 Hundred yards with my rifle.
[Aus]Aussie (France) 12 Mar. 1/1: I’m just waiting for this photo bloke to get knocked. I want to souvenir his camera!
[Aus](con. WWI) L. Mann Flesh in Armour 86: Gilderoy came along from the left. [...] ‘Whre’s Mr Burney, sergeant?’ ‘Knocked’.
[Aus]L. Glassop We Were the Rats 190: We’re buggered. It’s just heat an’ flies an’ bombs an’ ya mates gettin’ knocked.
[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 148: It’s a pity he couldn’t have been knocked.
[Aus] ‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxv 6/3: knocked: To be murdered.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Real Thing 12: I know it’s a pain in the arse but we’re going to have to knock him.
[US]M. McAlary Crack War (1991) 35: We’re going to knock that motherfucker right there.
[Aus]Smith & Noble Neddy (1998) 302: The idea was that once we took the guards, they would just knock [kill] us.
[UK]‘Q’ Deadmeat 373: I think you were involved in the [paedophile] ring and he was going to expose you. That’s [...] why you knocked him.
[Aus]L. Redhead Cherry Pie [ebook] ‘He told me he knew a lot of stuff about Jouissance, but he wouldn’t give me any details. Why would they knock him though?’.
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Old Scores [ebook] ‘Trevor’s trying to get someone to knock you’.
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Shore Leave 161: Tremain might be knocked because of his sudden wealth.

(e) to destroy, to defeat.

[US]W.H. Armstrong Red Tape and Pigeon-Hole Generals 40: I prosper occasionally in small things, but totals knock me.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 26 Oct. 6/1: It takes a good bit to knock the Dead Bird man, but he was staggered for a moment last Sunday.
[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 91: That knocked all my pipe-dreams of [...] distributing backsheesh among the natives.
[Aus]G. Seagram Bushman All 242: Dick’s a queer card. [...] Where he and his surly-looking mate came from knocks me.
[US]R. Chandler Long Good-Bye 236: ‘With what motive?’ ‘Yeah,’ he said sourly. ‘That knocks it.’.
[US]College Sl. Research Project (Cal. State Poly. Uni., Pomona) 🌐 Knock (verb) To kick ass; to defeat (physically).
[Aus]L. Redhead Cherry Pie [ebook] ‘You know Dick Farquar? Never charged, but she knocked him, mate’.

(f) (Aus.) to overcome, to ‘bowl over’.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 July 9/1: ‘Little Nell,’ it seems, got under the waist-coats of the Gympie boys (we speak, of course, only figuratively), and ‘knocked’ the Miner reporter to that extent that in his notice he is a mere driveller.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 14 Apr. 5/5: Griffith, M.P. , is the best dressed man in town. [...] He knocks the block masherettes very time he tries.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 23 Mar. 3/6: A new fashionable cloak [...] did not look the same at all when she got it on her own broad back [...] to knock the block.

(g) to cheat, to defraud, esp. to obtain credit which one has no intention of honouring.

[US]‘Sing Sing No. 57,700’ My View on Books in N.Y. Times Mag. 30 Apr. 5/5: [He] knocks the sky pilot in order to steal his peacherino daighters.
[US]M. Glass Potash and Perlmutter 253: When a feller gets together a little money, y’understand, always there is somebody what knocks him, Abe.
[UK]C.G. Gordon Crooks of the Und. 68: One wide-awake punter [...] realised I was knocking, he gave the alarm.
[UK]V. Davis Gentlemen of the Broad Arrows 89: He complained that he [...] had been ‘knocked’ for his winnings.
[UK]F. Norman Fings I i: I hope they knocks yer for the gelt then.
[UK]R. Cook Crust on its Uppers 19: Joined the army because still too green to knock.
[UK]F. Norman Too Many Crooks Spoil the Caper 34: The string was that both the bank and the manufacturers were going to end up knocked.
[UK](con. c.1910) A. Harding in Samuel East End Und. 94: We had to knock them in the end for five weeks’ rent.
[UK] in R. Graef Living Dangerously 97: You’d knock anyone to get your crack.
[UK]J. Cameron Hell on Hoe Street 226: I could knock you. Promise I be there then give a no-show. [Ibid.] We knocked them on Shithead and they were likely for whacking Kamran.

(h) to hit; to fight.

[US]D. Hammett ‘This King Business’ Story Omnibus (1966) 127: Shut up [...] or I’ll knock you double-jointed.
[Aus]K. Tennant Foveaux 266: ‘I don’t know whether to lumber the beggars or knock ’em,’ he yelled. ‘Begorra I’ll knock ’em.’.
[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 208: knock, v. – to fight.
[US](con. 1940) Wolfe & Lornell Leadbelly 12: I’d always been a good knocker, I could knock with my fists, and I run up on a colored boy at the mill. [...] Now I got my knife ready, ‘cause I was gonna knock him or knock him with that knife.

(i) (US) to subject to the law, incl. arrest, trial and/or imprisonent.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 118/2: Knock, v. (Central and Western U.S.) [...] 3. To arrest; to prosecute; to sentence or commit to prison.
[UK]E. Bond Saved Scene vii: With a crowd like our’n they got a knock someone.
[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 209: knocked, v. – arrested; written up for disciplinary action by an officer.
[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 98: You be in crime two year and you don’ know no DT when you be seein’ him. He knock you so fast you be bleedin’ in the Great Adventure before you say please mister postman!
[US]L. Stavsky et al. A2Z 41/2: Don’t get knocked for carrying that gun.
[US]Source Aug. 38: Big-time hustler takes a risk and gets knocked.
[US]R. Cea No Lights, No Sirens 107: ‘What’d you get knocked for?’ ‘I was in a spot with a lot of, you know, material’.
[UK] in D. Seabrook Jack of Jumps (2007) 43: She told me Micky Calvey had got knocked for stealing cases.

2. in senses of lit. or fig. communication.

(a) (orig. US, also give the knock) to disparage, to criticize.

[UK]R. Taylor Hog Hath Lost His Pearl II iii: Some are proud of their humor, although in that humor, they be often knockt for being so.
[US]D. Crockett Life 38: They knock the Law for belting peoples who done wrong.
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 79: You ain’t goin’ to begin knockin’ the first thing. Pay no attention to what she says about me.
[US]‘Billy Burgundy’ Toothsome Tales Told in Sl. 117: If he knocked a book they would follow suit.
[US]‘O. Henry’ ‘The Thing’s the Play’ Strictly Business (1915) 125: I will not knock a brother.
[US]Ade ‘The New Fable of the Uplifter’ Ade’s Fables 108: The trained and trusty Liars [...] all crowded up to the Author [...] and boosted something scandalous. He didn t know that all of them Knocked after they got around the Dutch Lunch.
[US]‘Tod Sloan’ Tod Sloan by Himself 241: All the time a lot of backbiters, who would abuse the friendship of anyone, gave me ‘the knock’.
[US]N.W. Putnam West Broadway 7: I don't intend to knock education too severe; not by a long shot.
[UK]Wodehouse Inimitable Jeeves 108: It was all very well for Comrade Butt to knock the food.
[US]W. Winchell On Broadway 5 Mar. [synd. col.] Skolsky being one of our friends, we can knock him.
[UK]S. Jackson Indiscreet Guide to Soho 60: A camera man [...] is ‘knocking’ the director of his last picture, implying that he could do the job better himself.
[US]J. Thompson Savage Night (1991) 117: He wouldn’t knock me to Kendall.
[US]L. Bruce Essential Lenny Bruce 105: Now you can knock me, but don’t knock a guy that’s dead.
[Aus]A. Buzo The Roy Murphy Show (1973) 107: It’s all very well to knock the men in white, Mike.
[UK]T. Blacker Fixx 142: Don’t knock it, Marc.
[US]‘Master Pimp’ Pimp’s Rap 49: I don’t knock anyone for what they do.
[UK]Guardian Editor 14 Jan. 1: Don’t knock the English, Jack.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Leaving Bondi (2013) [ebook] Les couldn’t knock the food. It was delicious.
Young M.A. ‘Eat’ 🎵 They tryna knock me and it's funny cause they doing they best / Shake the haters off like a dog do when it's wet.

(b) (Aus.) to flirt with a woman.

[Aus]C. Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 42: Knocked, when a young lady entices a man to follow her, she is said to have knocked him.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 654: since ca. 1920.

(c) (US) to complain, to inform on, to betray.

[US]Ade Artie (1963) 64: He’s got to make good with ’em to keep ’em from knockin’.
[US]A.H. Lewis Confessions of a Detective 41: It’s distilled anywhere, everywhere,—in old dwellings, in tenement houses. Certainly, the neighbors know; but they’re not going to knock.
[US]G. Henderson Keys to Crookdom 410: Knock. To betray friends, to squeal.
[US]S. Bellow Augie March (1996) 3: I [...] will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent.
[Ire]B. Behan Brendan Behan’s Island (1984) 75: With his hands trembling, said to His Lord: ‘Cor blimey, guv’nor, turn it up. I ain’t goin’ to knock you.’.

(d) (US) to explain; esp. to explain to a confidence trickster’s victim that he is being swindled.

[US]Ade Pink Marsh (1963) 174: Yes, seh, he’s been knockin’ good an’ plenty.
[US]D. Maurer Big Con 46: The police will not ‘knock’ him or tip him off to what is happening.
[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 19: He’s knocking the info to each of these cats as to how to take charge when the mess gets too thick to thin out.
[US]Ragen & Finston World’s Toughest Prison 806: knock – To inform.

(e) (US black) to write.

[US]Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 6 Aug. 11/1: Jack, your spiel was a conk buster and I don’t mean perhaps [...] you should knock the cats that dig your jive more of it.
[US]‘Lord Buckley’ Hiparama of the Classics 26: The gasser sat down to knock a note on Ferdinand the First.

(f) (US black) to speak.

[US] ‘Jiver’s Bible’ in D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.

(g) (US black) to borrow; to ask for.

[US] ‘Jiver’s Bible’ in D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.
[US]D. Burley Diggeth Thou? 40: He fell for a chick who knocked him for a deuce.
[UK]T. Rhone Smile Orange Act II: A knock him for a ten dollar, den got mi missis brothers a job.

3. in fig. senses, to arouse the emotions.

(a) to strike with astonishment, alarm or confusion, to confound.

[UK]Sewall 1 Feb. in H. Thomas (ed.) Diary of Samuel Sewall II (1973) II 784: Mr. Winthrop was so knockt that he said it could not be done.
[US]R. Burdette Rise and Fall of the Mustache 19: He has a formula which [...] will cause warts to disappear from the hand, or, to use his own expression, will ‘knock warts.’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Feb. 4/3: To the latter, the advice was given to have her plans (she is a poor, lone widow) altered; but what the -- […] they’re to be changed for when a licence won’t be granted at all, is what knocks us.
[UK]W. Sickert Speaker 20 Mar. 321: M. Helleu has ‘fairly knocked’ our critics. His plates [...] are larger than any of ours, and there is less in them.
[UK]Sporting Times 10 Mar. 1/4: ‘I’m in luck,’ chuckled Paul; ‘but what knocks me is this— I keep thinking I’ve met her before!’.
[UK]Leigh & Powell [perf. Marie Lloyd] Tiddley-om-pom 🎵 People said the show would ‘knock’ me / But it takes a little more than that to shock me.
[Aus]Aussie (France) 7 Sept. 15/2: Jim was on the firestep blazing away clips of bullets, [...] ‘What the hell are you blazing at?’ we asked tremblingly. ‘The blanky air,’ he snorted. That knocked us.
[UK]‘Dornford Yates’ Berry and Co 53: I tell you, Major, it fair knocked me, it did. I come all of a tremble.
[US]D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam News 8 June 14: I’m watching the slammer to knock me a square [...] from Alabama.

(b) to impress highly, to elicit great admiration, to make a big impression, esp. of new fashions, entertainments.

[US]‘Artemus Ward’ Artemus Ward, His Book 44: Thay was rehersin Dixey’s Land & expected it would knock the peple.
[UK]Sporting Times 9 Aug. 2/2: Blobbs also introduces me to Mr William Holland, who thinks he’s knocked ’em this time, dear boy.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Jan. 5/1: Up Bathurst and Grafton way, Radcliff and Rita are ‘knocking ’em.’ [...] ‘The rendition of this delicious morçeau was received with a furore of acclamation’ [...].
[UK]Albert Chevalier ‘Wot Cher!’ 🎵 Laugh! I thought I should ’ave died, Knock’d ’em in the Old Kent Road!
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 17 June 5/8: Sutton Vane’s ‘Cotton King’ dioesn’t seem to have knocked ’em at the London Adelphi.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 14 Jan. 2/2: Cook knocks ’em with his eccentric dance and is a very clever little boy indeed.
[UK]B.L. Farjeon Amblers 279: She’ll fairly knock ’em.
[US]D. Lowrie My Life out of Prison 57: I discussed Donald Lowrie, and in one instance ‘knocked’ him because I wanted to hear the other man sing Lowrie’s praises in a still higher key.
[UK]Wodehouse ‘ The Making of Mac’s’ Man with Two Left Feet 128: Well, kid, I been reading the pieces in the papers. You’ve knocked ’em.
[US](con. 1920s) Dos Passos Big Money in USA (1966) 1008: You watch, Cliff . . . We’ll knock them higher than a kite.
[US]Green & Laurie Show Biz from Vaude to Video 569: Knocked ’em bowlegged – rousing sucess.

4. (US black) to give, to do, to perform.

[US]Ade Artie (1963) 13: Then I knocked ’em a horrible twister.
[US] ‘The Ark’ T.W. Talley Negro Folk Rhymes 45: Ole Ham, he sot an’ knocked de chunes, / De happiest of de Niggers.
[US] ‘Hectic Harlem’ in N.Y. Amsterdam News 8 Feb, sect. 2: KNOCK ME A STRAIGHT LIFE – Said when requesting a cigarette.
D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam Star-News 5 July 13: ‘Knock’ is one of Jiveology’s most brilliant verbs [...] Knock a nod,’ says the Jiver. he means sleep. ‘Knock a scarf’ [...] eat a meal, ‘Knock a broom’ [...] a brisk trot away [...] ‘Knock me down to her’ [...] to introduce [...] ‘knock a jug’ [...] to buy a drink.
[US]Cab Calloway ‘Let’s Go Joe’ 🎵 Oh, let’s go, Joe, / Knock me something, ’cause I’m ready to go.
[US]Cab Calloway New Hepsters Dict. in Calloway (1976) 257: knock (v.): give. Ex., ‘Knock me a kiss.’.
[US]L. Durst Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 1: Now your girl friend calls you up, and you have to bathe and eat before yon are ready for a show date. ‘Knock a statue act chick, I’ve got to make like a fish and knock a scarf and then we can cruise on over to the righteous flick.’ [Ibid.] 7: Yes, chappie, you can fall dead in castle groove this chick got boots laced and wig placed and knocking a shout for the kitties to fall on out.
[US]‘Lord Buckley’ Hiparama of the Classics 16: Hipsters, Flipsters, and Finger-Poppin’ Daddies, / Knock me your lobes!
[US]L. Sanders Pleasures of Helen 139: ‘That’s nice, honey. I like to hear that. Knock me a kiss’.
[US]A. Heckerling Clueless [film script] Knock me a little kiss.

5. (Aus.) to give in; to be exhausted [abbr. SE knock under].

[Aus]W.H. Downing Digger Dialects 31: knock — (vb.) — (1) To be exhausted; to give in. (2) To be about to give in.
[Aus](con. WWI) A.G. Pretty Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: knock. To be exhausted, to give in.
[Aus]Aus. Word Map 🌐 knock. In some areas of the workforce, to take a ‘sickie’.

6. (US black) to consume.

[US]Louis Armstrong [instrumental title] Knockin’ a Jug.
[US]W. Fisher Waiters 232: ‘Let’s knock one.’ [...] the three men each indicated their willingness for a drink.
[US]D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam News 18 May 13: They’ll beg and steal and give you a cold deal just in order to knock a meal.

7. (US black) to wear.

D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam Star-News 5 Apr. 13: Get rid of those togs you’re wearing; / knock a drape that’s fine.

8. (US) to earn.

[US]C. Himes ‘Let me at the Enemy’ Coll. Stories (1990) 198: Knock seven or eight hundred.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 109: Now you’s all right, little girl, with them few nickels you knocked, / but when it come down to a mudkicker, little girl, your name didn’t go down in the book.
[US]B. Jackson Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 110: Now you were all right down home with the few nickels you knocked.

Meaning to defeat or beat, or to astound

In phrases

knock all to rags (v.)

(US) to knock senseless.

[US]‘Mark Twain’ Connecticut Yankee 432: The blow came crashing down and knocked him all to rags.
[UK]Western Morn. News 9 Mar. 6/5: A doggerel ran: Polperro bulldogs, Lanreath brags, Purty little Plynters ’ll knock ’em all to rags.
knock cats out of (v.)

(Aus.) to berate.

[Aus]E. Dyson Fact’ry ’Ands 165: ‘He has a good, frugal, little wife.’ ‘Who knocks cats out iv him iv he spits in the fender.’.
knock cold (v.) (also knock cold as a monkey-wrench, knock dead)

1. to knock unconscious, to wipe out.

[US]Army Police Record in Annals of the Army of the Cumberland 606: We will knock those cities cold as a wedge.
[US]L.W. Payne Jr ‘Word-List From East Alabama’ in DN III:iv 304: dead, adj. Unconscious, senseless. ‘He was knocked dead for a few minutes.’.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard Enemy to Society 41: If th’ policeman is square and it looks like an arrest, th’ gang cuts in with their black-jacks and knocks th’ copper and th’ challenger cold.
[US]Van Loan ‘No Business’ in Taking the Count 155: I suppose I should stay in there and be knocked dead!
[US]H.C. Witwer Fighting Blood 135: His knees buckle under him, and the great big stiff slides under the lower rope to the floor, cold as a shark’s eye. [Ibid.] 39: I knock him so cold his name could of been Battling Zero instead of Frankie Johnson, which it was.
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Caesar (1932) 82: What the hell can I do, anyway? I can’t knock him cold.
[US](con. WWI) H. Odum Wings on My Feet 127: One of funniest sights [...] wus little black boy ’bout five feet high knockin’ big black boy over six feet tall cold as monkey-wrench.
[US]E. Hemingway letter 4 June in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 414: Would it interest you to know that I knocked cold after cutting up badly one Joe Knapp.
[Aus]K. Tennant Battlers 26: You low-down offal! Why, for two pins I’d knock you so cold, you’d fink you was the North Pole.
[US]M. Spillane Long Wait (1954) 42: As far as I can figure out, I was knocked cold, lay there on the ground a few minutes, then came around.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 66: I was always angling for schemes — like this middleweight who’s knocking ’em dead in the gym.
[US]H. Gould Fort Apache, The Bronx 103: When they were sure nobody could see, Patterson knocked him cold with his blackjack.

2. (also kill dead) to astound, to amaze.

[UK]H. Kingsley Recollections of G. Hamlyn (1891) 63: Mary struck the old lady dumb – ‘knocked her cold,’ our American cousins would say – by announcing that she considered Lady Emily to be a fool.
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 91: Here’s somethin’ that’ll knock you cold.
[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 52: I’ll knock em dead with this layout.
[US]R. Lardner ‘Carmen’ in Gullible’s Travels 22: ‘I’ll stick all right,’ says Bill. ‘They’s a Jane in your party that’s knocked me dead.’.
[UK]Wodehouse ‘Extricating Young Gussie’ in Man with Two Left Feet 33: She was knocking them cold at the Tivoli in a double act called ‘Fun in a Tea-Shop’.
[US]S.H. Adams Success 242: She killed ’em dead in London in romantic comedy.
[US]G.S. Schuyler Yellow Peril in Hatch & Hamalian Lost Plays of Harlem Renaissance (1996) 51: If that darky just brings that fur coat, I’ll knock ’em dead. Put on airs with me, will they? I’ll make all the dickties look like ragbags.
[US]M. West Pleasure Man (1997) II i: Good luck – knock them cold.
[US]W.R. Burnett Iron Man 195: You’ll knock ’em dead, kid.
[US]J. Dixon Free To Love 182: Some drama! It knocked him cold.
[US]C.G. Booth ‘Stag Party’ in Penzler Pulp Fiction (2006) 93: A legend under one of [the photos] said Mabel Leclair. She Knocked ’Em Cold on Broadway.
[US]J.T. Farrell World I Never Made 89: Next season we’ll be knocking them dead.
[US]C. Himes ‘Let Me at the Enemy’ in Coll. Stories (1990) 38: Knockin’ the natives cold in my forty-inch frock and my cream colored drapes.
[UK]Wodehouse Mating Season 61: I had more or less expected it to knock him cold.
[US]Green & Laurie Show Biz from Vaude to Video 8: ‘Great American Artists’ were knocking them dead in London in those pre-1913 days.
[US]J. Thompson Alcoholics (1993) 69: You’re considered [...] a guy who knocks ’em cold.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ ‘Cool Cat’ in Tell Them Nothing (1956) 96: I’m knocked dead on that, cause it’s a lie.
[US]Mad mag. Mar. 7: You’ll knock ’em dead.
[US]K. Brasselle Cannibals 269: Knock em dead, Honey.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 10: In the 1960s I was knocking ’em dead.
[US]J. Wambaugh Glitter Dome (1982) 273: He dreamed of Thursday night at the rink, when he’d show up in his new skating silks and knock em dead.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Culture 24 Oct. 4: The Terminator knocks ’em dead.
[UK]Indep. Rev. 10 Feb. 12: The quirky, knock ’em dead showstopper.

3. to complete or dispose of something easily or quickly.

[US]Eve. Star (Wash., DC) 24 Dec. 1/5: We reeled it off [...] fit to kill, by b’m by that Buffer, he came an’ just knocked me cold.
[UK](con. 1917–18) J.M. Saunders Wings (1928) 71: ‘Going to knock it cold, eh?’ he saluted Johnny.
knock endways (v.) (also knock endwise, knock sky-wise and crooked)

to astound, to astonish, to shock profoundly, to overturn.

[[UK]Liverpool Mercury 20 Jan. 3/7: The engines [...] were knocked endways and made a complete wreck].
[US]Pet-stock, Pigeon, and Poultry Bulletin 7 106/1: Should this resolution be generally adopted, if it does not knock endways the price of exhibition birds, we are no prophet.
[US]J.M. Bailey Danbury Boom! 113: Then the afflicted finger would descend until it displaced the thread with itself, and this would immediately knock endways all the hilarity.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 15 Aug. 13/1: At a meeting of the Collins-street (Melb.) Baptist Church Temperance Society, the Rev. Bunning knocked the liquor-traffic endways in one try.
[Ire]Freeman’s Jrnl 28 Sept. 6/1: The Japanese will knock China endways.
[Aus]Gadfly (Adelaide) 21 Feb. 10/1: People who like to be knocked endwise with amazement should go along to Rickards’ Tivoli Theatre.
[US]Van Loan ‘Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm’ in Ten-Thousand-Dollar Arm 27: If I leave Dud in there they’ll just about knock him endways.
[US]H.E. Rollins ‘A West Texas Word List’ in DN IV:iii 228: sky-wise and crooked, adv. phr. Dumbfounded, extremely startling. ‘It knocked me sky-wise and crooked.’.
[UK]Exeter & Plymouth Gaz. 8 Feb. 4/4: His Majesty’s gags will come like a bolt from the blue and knock them endways.
[Aus]K.S. Prichard Haxby’s Circus 58: Dan threw out his hands choked and abashed. ‘This has knocked me endways, Doctor.’.
[Scot]Dundee Courier 11 Jan. 6/2: You’ve been through something to-day that would knock a man ednways.
[Scot]Dundee Courier 17 Feb. 5/7: He and all the other farmers were knocked endways by the repeal.
[US]G. MacCreagh White Waters and Black 9: Sufficient to knock endways anything in all the Americas, no matter where one hits it.
knock for a Burton (v.)

to destroy.

[UK]Times 11 Sept. 24: It knocked our profits for a burton.
J. Dew Ride in the Neon Sun [ebook] Tis whole Parisian effect was knocked for a burton when I spotted their footwear.
knock for a loop (v.) (also knock for a dingdong, ...ghoul, ...goal, ...gool, ...home run, ...trip, ...two-bagger, ...the loop, knock in a fit) [one is fig. knocked ‘head-over-heels’]

1. to astound, to astonish, to devastate; also throw for a loop under loop n.2

[US]F. Hutchison Philosophy of Johnny the Gent 43: [T]hem shines is standin’ around on the pave [...] tellin’ everybody who'll listen to ’em how they knocked ’em in a fit.
[US]T. Thursday ‘Score Another One for Barnum’ in Argosy All-Story 11 Sept. 🌐 He [...] owned a face that would have knocked a movie leading man for a two-bagger or a triple to center.
[US](con. 1917–18) T. Boyd Through the Wheat 122: We knocked ’em for a gool, a cock-eyed gool.
[US]Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer 177: I’ll say this cocktail sure does knock you for a loop.
[US](con. 1914–18) L. Nason Three Lights from a Match 166: They’ll knock you for a loop. [Ibid.] 305: The dump was in that trench that the barrage knocked for a goal.
[US]H.C. Witwer Classics in Sl. 16: One more peep outa you and I’ll knock you for a goal—get that?
[US]K. Nicholson Barker I ii: He’d knock me for a ghoul.
[US]R. Fisher Walls Of Jericho 31: Hit a guy crossin’ the speedway – knocked him f’ a gool, the dumbbell.
[US]H.C. Witwer Yes Man’s Land 17: That Fay’s knocked me for a trip and I’m goin’ to put her across—and maybe me, too!
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘Curbstone Philosophy’ in Short Stories (1937) 218: We piles in and we knocks de eight-ball for a goal and gives him de royal clouts.
[US]J.M. Cain Postman Always Rings Twice (1985) 19: Swell. That’ll knock them for a loop.
[UK]P. Cheyney Dames Don’t Care (1960) 15: A pair of pink quilted satin mules that woulda knocked a bachelor for the home run.
[US]I. Shulman Cry Tough! 109: Joyce [...] you’ve knocked Mitch for a loop.
[US]R. Prather Always Leave ’Em Dying 23: That—even from Trammel—had knocked me for a loop.
[UK]Wodehouse Jeeves in the Offing 110: It knocked his faith in woman for a loop.
[US]M. Rumaker Exit 3 and Other Stories 165: Man, that wine sure knocks me for a dingdong.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS 149: Knocked for a loop Astonished.
[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 2: I bet you will be knocked for a Loop [...] to hear from a H.S. class-mate after all these many years.
[UK]T. Blacker Fixx 54: I had received a bombshell [...] that frankly knocked me for a loop during much of my adolescence. 🌐 Boilo – Traditional Yuletide drink of the Coal Region [...] Boilo is traditionally made during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. It’s great on those cold winter nights. Beware, this can knock you for a loop! Cheers!

2. (US) to beat up, to knock out.

[US]B. Appel Tough Guy [ebook] Luzzi’d been knocked for a loop in the hallway of his own house; Brennan was in a hospital, his face smashed in.
knock for a row of... (v.) (also ...ashcans, ...flat tires, ...latrines, ...Mongolian whipped cream containers, ...Portuguese flower pots, Riffians, ...shanties, ...shitcans, ...silos, ...sour apple trees, ...stars, ...tent pegs, ...totem poles)(US/N.Z.)

1. to hit or knock someone senseless.

[UK] in Elmer W. Sherwood Diary 159: If you had guts enough to take them stripes off I’d knock you for a row of Latrines.
[US]A. Baer Two and Three 20 Jan. [synd. col.] The Bullsheviki knocked the Czar for a row of adobe huts.
[US]R. Lardner Big Town 178: He could knock you for a row of flat tires. [Ibid.] 190: And another Romance was knocked for a row of sour apple trees.
[US]A. Baer Putting ’Em Over 1 Sept. [synd. col.] After having knocked the Reds for a row of tent pegs [etc].
[US]E. Hemingway letter 20 Mar. in Baker Sel. Letters (1981) 865: Some day I will get careless and he will knock me for a row of latrines.
[US]T. Thursday ‘Art for Artie’ in Argosy All-Story 30 Dec. 🌐 In the lecture no one got knocked for a row of stars.
[US]H.C. Witwer Fighting Blood 193: The customers shriek for me to knock him for a row of silos. [Ibid.] 354: Jessica [...] knocked Lil Arthur for a row of Mongolian whipped cream containers.
[US]H.C. Witwer Classics in Sl. 55: K.O. Macbeth knocks the champion of Scotland for a row of ash cans and thus the fortune teller’s dope looks to be the goods. [Ibid.] 73: I figure I’ll knock this guy for a row of Portuguese flower pots without no trouble. [Ibid.] 96: Dan Glars has knocked Wall Street for a row of shanties and has $2.50 for every egg in a shad roe.
[US]Edgar Wheelan Don. K. Haughty [comic strip] Let’s knock this goofy guy for a row of ashcans.
[US]S.J. Perelman Dawn Ginsbergh’s Revenge 21: G’wan, I’ll knock you for a row of red-headed Riffians!
[UK]Dly Record (Glasgow) 10 Dec. 5/4: They’ll knock the Japs for a row of ornamental ash-cans.
[US]J. Archibald ‘State Penmanship’ Popular Detective Jan. 🌐 Willie Klump uncoiled and then leaped at Hake and knocked him for a row of cancelled checks.
[NZ]G. Slatter Pagan Game (1969) 31: Give them a cloudy day next Saturday and they could bowl Grammar for a row of ashcans.

2. (also knock for a row) to impress or amaze.

[US]K. Brush Young Man of Manhattan 128: You certainly knocked him for a row of tall red totem poles.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 283: I’ll be knocking you guys for a row with tongue-twisters and the things I know.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 123: knock for a row of shitcans Guaranteed to impress.
knock hell out of (v.)

see under hell n.

knock rotten (v.)

(Aus.) to kill, to stun.

[Aus]S. Aus. Register 13 Nov. 6/4: Nonsense — you've been under our fire for a good hour. You've sunk, knocked rotten; it's all over with you.
[Aus]W.H. Downing Digger Dialects 31: knocked rotten, killed or stunned.
[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 120: The development of an extensive vocabulary of fighting terms [...] knock rotten, roll into, vacuum.
knock saucepans out of (v.) (also knock smoke out of)(Aus.)

1. to attack aggressively.

[[US]Littell’s Sat. Mag. 1-2 56/1: Who was equal to myself in clearing a fair-green, or knocking saucepans out of a market!].
[US]D. Corcoran (ed.) Pickings from the [...] N.O. Picayune 42: Her own Rory, who’d knock saucepans out of any spalpeen that ’ud say black is the white of her eye.
[US]W. Kelly Excursion ot California 255: There’s never a pair of pistol-shinned Yankees [that] I wouldn1t knock saucepans out of.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 24 Feb. 3/1: Had a man of such stalwart proportions really committed so violent an assault as that described by the brothers, he would infallibly have ‘knocked saucepans’ ont of them.
[UK]R.McGhee How We Got to Pekin 350: If you don’t bring lots of ‘suiah’, that is plenty of water [...] I’ll just knock saucepans out of you, that’s all.
[Ire]Shamrock 7 Jan. 210/1: ‘I’ll knock saucepans out of her,’ exclaimed the fishwoman, throwing down her basket.
Washington Standard (Olympia, WA) 30 June 6/2: ‘The thievin’ vagabond! where is he? till I knock saucepans out of him’.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (2006) 100: You ought to have sense enough not to knock smoke out of fresh horses before we begin.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 201: Sir Ferdinand Morringer’s come up now [...] He’ll begin to knock saucepans out of all the boys between here and Weddin Mountain.
[UK]Pall Mall Gaz. I 102: She said she’d knock saucepans out of her for thryin' to do her that bad turn.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 14 Apr. 3/6: This enactment was to regenerate Society generally and knock saucepans out of Creation.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Oct. 15/1: Just come outside, my gentleman, / And then, by all that’s blue, / I’ll show these fellows how I can / Knock saucepans out of you!
[Aus]F. Cusack Aus. Christmas 204: A tall lunatic in a white hat says if I don’t ‘go it once more, he’ll knock saucepans out of me’.

2. to overcome completely.

[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 50: I’d knocked saucepans out of a few kids. [Ibid.] 51: I wouldn’t have swopped places with a duke when I knocked smoke out of him.
knock seven bells out of (v.)

see under bell n.1

knock slops off (v.)

(Aus.) to beat thoroughly.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 Aug. 31/2: ‘I’d give an ’onest fiver ter see Bill turn round an’ knock slops out o’ that old dog,’ he said.
knock someone bandy (v.)

to astound, to stun with a blow.

[UK]Graphic 10 Oct. 15/2: I can knock old Stanley bandy, oh!
[Aus]W.T. Goodge ‘Daley’s Dorg Wattle’ in Bulletin 16 July 3: But I know a dorg that simply knocked ’em bandy.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 23 Nov. 32/1: How his int’rest in nat’ral hist’ry kep’ up in spite o’ the stink o’ them specimens useter knock me bandy.
[Aus]E.S. Sorenson Quinton’s Rouseabout and other Stories 88: Joe was reg’lar knocked bandy. Most men would ’ave shied clear off her after the dam racket; but Noel wasn’t built that way. He was dead nuts on Joe, an’ didn’t mind goin’ through a little fire an’ water for ’er.
[Aus]R. Park Poor Man’s Orange 200: If I hear you slinging off at her again, I’ll knock you bandy, honest to goodness I will!
[UK]C. Kray Me and My Brothers 2: Hearing the dreaded word ‘cancer’ knocked me bandy.
knock someone’s block off (v.)

see under block n.1

knock someone’s eye out (v.)

see under eye n.

knock someone’s hat off (v.)

see under hat n.

knock the corners off (v.) (N.Z.)

1. to punish violently.

Kildare Nationalist 13 Oct. 🌐 Her sharp wit, her readiness to knock the corners off any of us who might have ideas above our station, her delightful good humour and youthful outlook all belied the fact that retirement was imminent.

2. to civilize someone.

[US]S. Woodward Paper Tiger (2007) 51: He was one of a group of redoubtable old boys who attempted to knock the corners off the Amherst youth of that era.
[US]T. Gitlin Inside Prime Time 326: It isn’t only with higher culture that cable is planning to ‘knock the corners off’ the network audience.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 123: knock/trim the corners off Refine crude aspects of someone’s character or behaviour [...] Early C20.
[US]C. Toldy Desert Skies 133: He needs a father to knock the corners off him and whip him into shape.
knock the crap out of (v.)

see under crap n.1

knock the ears off (v.)

see under ears n.

knock the hindsights off (v.) (also knock the hindsights out of) [? SE hindsight, the backsight of a rifle]

(US) to deal a heavy blow to, to beat up, to defeat.

[US]W.A. Caruthers Kentuckian in N.Y. I 21: And as sure as you saw the fire at the muzzle of his gun, so sure he knocked the creter’s hind sights out.
[US]G.F. Ruxton Life in the Far West (1849) 4: Old St Vrain could knock the hind-sight off him though, when it came to shootin’.
F.A. Durivage Life Scenes 43: It goes agin my grit for Hardscrabble to cave in to Dogtown, when we could knock the hindsights off ’em, if we only had a mind to.
[US]E. Eggleston Hoosier School-Master (1892) 121: Ef it’s rendered right, it’ll knock the hind sights off of any rheumatiz you ever see.
[US]cited in AS (1928) 346: The American producer, whether on the farm or in the shop, can knock the hindsights off the producer anywhere else on the face of the earth.
[US]F. Benton Cowboy Life on The Sidetrack 46: I reckon she could just knock the hind sights off anybody when it came to singing.
[US] in PADS [DARE].
[US]Wilson Collection n.p.: ‘Knock his hindsights out’ ... Heavy blow on the head [DARE].
knock the jive out of (v.)

see under jive n.1

knock the (living) daylights out of (v.)

see under daylights n.

knock the piss out of (v.)

see under piss n.

knock the shit out of (v.)

see under shit n.

knock the socks off (v.) (also steam the socks off)(orig. US)

1. (also kick the socks off) to defeat comprehensively; note ad hoc var. at cit. 1987.

[US]Ohio Cultivator 15 May 159/2: Ellen may knock the socks off with her yeast bread; but for the taste of some, she would have to put them on again.
[US]Harper’s Mag. Feb. 427/1: The good-natured people spoke with admiration of his flights of eloquence, and predicted that when he took his seat in the House he would ‘knock the socks’ from some who had more reputation than he .
[UK]J.H. Carter ‘Jim Kane’ in Log of Commodore Rollingpin 187: I reckon that quadruped [...] Would knock the socks off anything you’ve seen.
[US]G.W. Peck Peck’s Bad Boy and His Pa (1887) 159: I went [...] and got an Irish boy by the name of Duffy, who can knock the socks off any boy in the ward.
[UK]Hartlepool Mail 16 Dec. 4/2: I have something in here that will knock the socks off anything in this country [...] he carried a little tin box, labelled ‘Excelsior Corn and Bunion Eradicator’.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 3 Aug. 6/4: As long as they don’t [...] get him down and kick the socks off him.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 16 Aug. 7/4: Some of the amateurs who think they can knock the socks off the whole creation should have a quiet peg at Mr. George Walker.
[US]P.L. Dunbar ‘A Banjo Song’ in Lyrics of Lowly Life 44: An’ I feel dat I could sorter / Knock de socks clean off o’ sin / Ez I hyeah my po’ ol’ granny / Wif huh tremblin’ voice jine in.
[US]J.W. Carr ‘Words from Northwest Arkansas’ in DN III:i 85: knock the socks off, v. phr. To punish comprehensively.
[US]Van Loan ‘Easy Picking’ in Taking the Count 304: We got a kid here that can knock the socks off any lightweight.
[US]C. Woofter ‘Dialect Words and Phrases from West-Central West Virginia’ in AS II:8 359: Mr. Peters got the socks knocked off’n him in the last election.
[Ire](con. 1930s) L. Redmond Emerald Square 213: He’d sing the trousers off any a’ them.
Atlanta Constitution (GA) 23 May D11/2: Ms Sarandon steams the socks off minor-league catcher Kevin Costner.
[UK]Guardian G2 30 June 3: A salary to knock the socks off other public servant pay packages.
[Aus]P. Temple Black Tide (2012) [ebook] Jack, you’re my mixed partner for Portsea. Knock their socks off.

2. to cause serious problems for, to defeat fig.; to have an intense effect upon.

[US] US Congress testimony on HR 6385 27 Apr. n.p.: mr. boerne: Just one of them [i.e. a marijuana cigarette] will knock the socks off of you. mr. anslinger: One of them can do it.
[US]A. Maupin Further Tales of the City (1984) 36: That stuff [i.e. a variety of strong marijuana] knocks your socks off.
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 367: That shit [i.e. crack] will knock your socks off in a minute.
[Aus]J.J. DeCeglie Drawing Dead [ebook] You dress up real nice. Knock their fucking socks off type stuff. Drop dead gorgeous.

3. (also blow someone out of their socks, blow the socks off, steam the socks off) to astound, to amaze.

[Aus]Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld) 1 Mar. 10/4: I could see the fat was in the fire. He blew the socks off me and wanted to fight me.
[US]Current Sl. IV:1 4: Blow . . . socks, v. to be shocked.
[US]R. Price Blood Brothers 155: Just to blow him out of his socks she gave him the Royal Harem treatment.
[UK]P. Theroux Picture Palace 16: I had prefaced my joke by saying ‘General Patton told it to me,’ but that hadn’t knocked his socks off.
[US]R. Price Breaks 33: I declared ‘Lawyer!’ and blew the old biddy out of her socks.
[US]S.L. Hills Tragic Magic 137: If they were to go home and examine their own lifestyles [...] the similarities would knock their socks off.
[US]K. Vonnegut Bagombo Snuff Box 3: Short stories can have greatness [...] Several knocked my socks off when I was still in high school.
[UK]Indep. on Sun. Rev. 30 Jan. 7: There is a role out there for me which is going to blow everybody’s socks off.
[US](con. 1975–6) E. Little Steel Toes 86: Trust me on this, Red. You’ll knock her socks off.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 210: that’ll steam your socks off That will surprise.
[US]L. Berney Whiplash River [ebook] It would blow her socks off too if she ever found out about the old Gina.
knock the tar out of (v.)

see under tar n.3

knock the whey out of (v.)

(US) to beat up severely.

Free Press (St Paul, NE) 7 Aug. 5/1: [T]he north side is trying to knock the whey out of the south side on the diamond.
Madison Dly Leader (SD) 13 Aug. 3/4: [K]nock the whey out of of the ‘college-bred journalist’ who requires seven typewriters.
Osage Eagle 12 May 4/1: [They] should knock the supreme whey out of [...] that ‘cock-eyed’ election law.
[US]S.F. Bulletin 20 May 8/5: The more human [...] amusement of of atching two men knock they whey out of each other.
Muncie Eve, Press 6 June 14/4: Sharkey will knock the whey out of der Maxie [i.e. Max Schmeling].
[US]Eve. Star (Wash., DC) 9 Jan. B-16/3: [T]rying to smash atoms and knock the whey out of the myths men live by.
Scrantonian Trib. 5 Feb. 11/1: I’ll knock the whey out of anyone who dares to say thou ain’t [i.e. a noble soul].
[US]S. Woodward Paper Tiger 42: [T]he Amherst [football] team immediately [...] started once again to knock the whey out of the Williamses.
[US]G.V. Higgins Friends of Eddie Coyle 71: He looked like somebody knocked the whey out of him.
knock the wool out of one’s head (v.)

see under wool n.1

General uses

In phrases

get knocked (v.) (Aus.)

1. to suffer a setback, a disappointment or defeat.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 458/1: since ca. 1930.

2. to be killed.

[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 74: He can stay up here until he gets knocked or finds a bit of guts.
knock a spread (v.)

(US black) to lie down.

[US]D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam News 10 Apr. 15: [Those who] knock a spread on the long seat when the [subway train] condictor is up front.
knock a statue act (v.)

(orig. US black) to wait.

[US]L. Durst Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 1: Now your girl friend calls you up, and you have to bathe and eat before you are ready for a show date. ‘Knock a statue act chick, I’ve got to make like a fish and knock a scarf and then we can cruise on over to the righteous flick.’.
knock a trot (v.)

(US black) to escape, run away.

[US]F. Swados House of Fury (1959) 73: They always wanted to knock a trot. They musta sneaked out durin’ the dancin’.
knock fowl soup (v.)

(US black) to die.

[US]L. Durst Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 9: I’m not hep to the why ‘fur’, but for me you are a wig tightner, for you I would knock fowl soup.
knock it out of the box (v.) [knock v. + box n.1 ]

(US black) to have sexual intercourse.

[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 knocked it out the box Definition: 1. to physically enter the vagina with a penis 2. for a man to describe that he had intercourse with a woman Example: That brotha knocked it out the box last night!
knock the back out of (v.)

see under back n.1

knock the bottom out of (v.)

to have sexual intercourse.

[US]T.R. Houser Central Sl. 33: knocking the bottom out of it Sexual intercourse.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

knock-round (n.) [knockabout n.]

a wander, an aimless progress.

[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Meeting Old Mates’ in Roderick (1972) 165: Driftingly aimlessly round town with an eye out for some chance acquaintance to have a knock round with.
knock-softly (n.)

a foolish weak person.

[UK]Derby Day 69: What! to be larruped? Not if I know. You must think me a jolly knocksoftly.

In phrases

knock about the bub (v.)

see under bub n.1

knock across (v.) (also knock against)

to encounter, to meet.

[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 224: I never saw so many broke men [...] as I knocked against in California.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 589: Of course, I grant you, to concede a point, you do knock across a simple soul once in a blue moon.
[NZ] McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl.
knock along (v.)

1. (orig. Aus.) to idle; to wander, to travel around rather than settle down.

Port Phillip Gaz. 30 Sept. 2/2: There are men who [...] will not plod along in a quiet routine, but must knock along at a railway pace.
[UK] court report in Ware (1909) 163/2: There is an Australian phrase, isn’t there, with reference to an idle fellow : they say he goes ‘knocking along’. – I am not aware that it is an Australian phrase. We get our bad language from England. The Lord Chief Justice: ‘Knocking along’ is not an English phrase. It is ‘knocking about’.
[US]L.W. Payne Jr ‘Word-List From East Alabama’ in DN III:iv 327: knock (a)long, v. To move on leisurely, move along. ‘Well, I better be knockin’ ’long tow’ds home.’.
[UK]N&Q 12 Ser. IX 425: Knock Along. Move on.

2. to manage, to subsist.

[UK]A. Harris Emigrant Family II 123: Shall we knock along till the dray comes?
Melbourne Dly News 25 Sept. 2/2: [I]t will be 12 months before this company gets afloat, and then there’s the Town Council will have to agree to it before the streets is lit and that will sure to take 12 months more, so let’s knock along and get all we can in the dark.
[UK]Empire (Sydney) 23 July 2/5: If she thinks you can knock along in Sydney until your uncle sees the error of his ways [...] then I say, squat! settle! don’t budge an inch!
[UK]Bird o’ Freedom 15 Jan. 7/1: Hoping you are knocking along all right.—Yours Truly, The Swallow.
knock dust (v.)

(US prison) to knock down, to beat up.

[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 209: ‘Let’s knock dust!’ v. – ‘Let’s fight!’.
knock her dead one on the nose each and every double trey (v.)

(US black) to get a pay cheque every sixth day (or the sixth day of every week?).

[US] ‘Jiver’s Bible’ in D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.
knocking them back with a stick [them are women]

(orig. and chiefly Aus.) a phr. used by a man who wishes to boast of the success of his sex life; usu. in answer to a question, e.g. getting any (lately)? under get v.; occas. in relation to non-sexual situations.

[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Ridge and River (1966) 127: Here try this — you’ll be knocking ’em back with a stick!
[Aus]Westerly 16: ‘Do you have any trouble getting . . . performers? Competitors, whatever you call them?’ ‘Christ, no. Knocking them back with a stick.’.
posting 9 Mar. on ‘Help! I’ve Lost My Mojo!’ at 🌐 there was a time...oh yes, i was knocking them back with a,well now i could’nt even get a stick.
knock it down (v.)

to signify one’s approval by hammering on the table or stamping on the floor.

[UK]Sl. Dict. 210: Knock-it-down to show, in the ‘free and easy’ style, approval of a song or toast, by hammering with a pot or glass on the table.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
knock it on the head (v.) (also hit it on the head, knock it in the head) [? the final blow of a hammer that drives in a nail; McGill, Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. (2003): ‘from killing a snake’]

to stop doing something, to finish a task; to bring something to an end.

[Scot](con. 18C) Sir W. Scott Guy Mannering (1999) 189: I had got a pretty trade on foot within the last two trips; but that stupid houndsfoot schelm, Brown, has knocked it on the head.
[US]H. Frederic Seth’s Brother’s Wife 79: I was kine o’ wond’rin’ ef this here notion o’ Seth’s goin’ away wouldn’t knock it all in th’ head.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 134: If this chick of yours don’t like the fight business [...] maybe the girl is smart to knock it on the head.
[UK]G. Kersh Fowlers End (2001) 22: That idear knock on the ’ead.
[Aus]W. Dick Bunch of Ratbags 100: Oh, knock it on the head, Charl, a man’s gotta have some hobby or relaxation.
[Aus](con. 1941) R. Beilby Gunner 71: My old man wouldn’t sign my application for a passport so that knocked that on the head.
[UK]A. Payne ‘You Need Hands’ in Minder [TV script] 27: I could go and liberate a nice W Reg Bee Em but I’ve knocked all that on the head.
[Aus]J. Byrell (con. 1959) Up the Cross 147: ‘I can’t seem to (hoop, hoop) knock it [i.e. the flu] on the head’.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett White Shoes 106: It wouldn’t have been hard to drink every beer in the fridge [but] Norton decided to hit it on the head.
[Scot]I. Welsh Trainspotting 91: Knock it [i.e. heroin use] oan the heid. Make that the first n last time.
[UK]D. Mitchell Black Swan Green 341: He’s in Durham and I’m up here and . . . well, I knocked it [i.e. a relationship] on the head.
[UK]K. Richards Life 259: At least until ’73, ’74 it [i.e. heroin] was all perfectly legal. After that, they knocked it on the head and it was methadone.
[Scot]V. McDermid Out of Bounds (2017) 420: ‘Let’s knock it on the head before we screw up’.
knock one’s can in (v.) (also knock one’s arse in)

to surprise, to worry, to confound.

[Aus]W.H. Downing Digger Dialects 31: knock one’s can (or end) in — To surprise completely; to disconcert; to confound.
[Aus](con. WWI) A.G. Pretty Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: knock ones can in. To surprise, to completely disconcert, to confound.
[NZ]G. Slatter Pagan Game (1969) 174: Olaf getting dropped really knocked his arse in, poor kid.
knock one’s nuts out (v.)

see under nuts n.2

knock one’s wig (v.)

see under wig n.2

knock on together (v.) (also knock on with)

to have an affair.

[UK]A. Sillitoe Sat. Night and Sun. Morning 36: [He] might suspect or even have definite proof that you were knocking-on with his wife.
[UK]A. Sillitoe ‘The Fishing-Boat Picture’ Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1960) 73: They’d been knocking on together for about a year.
[UK]A. Sillitoe Birthday 48: What man wants to be kept in the dark when his wife’s knocking on with somebody else?
knock someone’s end in (v.)

1. to assault, to beat up.

[UK]Morpeth Herald 11 Nov. 3/6: He has just told me that you made a threat to him that you would ‘knock his end in’.
[UK]Sunderland Daily Echo 30 June 3/4: They no longer look upon their opponents [...] as enemies, and go upon the green with a determination to ‘knock their end in’.
[UK]Hull Daily Mail 1 Sept. 4/2: I should have been pleased to [...] try to knock his end in.

2. to disconcert.

[UK]P. Barker Blow Your House Down 85: I’m gradually getting meself pulled together. I don’t know why it knocked me end in the way it did.
knock splinters (v.)

(US black) to work hard.

[US]J. Harrison ‘Negro English’ in Anglia VII 278: To knock de splinters = to work hard.
knock the dust off the old sombrero (v.)

(US) to perform oral sex.

[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 63: Knock the Dust Off the Old Sombrero The act of oral sex.
knock the end off (v.)

see under end n.

knock the pad (v.) [? SE pad, i.e. a bed]

(US black) to have sexual intercourse.

[US]Z.N. Hurston ‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in Novels and Stories (1995) 1004: Me, I knocks de pad with them cack-broads up on Sugar Hill, and fills ’em full of melody.
[US]‘Touré’ Portable Promised Land (ms.) 41: They riskin they whole Navy careers just to knock the pad with a woman fine as the one Sugar Lips had.