1. in senses of lit. or fig. violence or aggression.
(a) something astounding, remarkable, that ‘knocks one down’.
|Cutter of Coleman-street (1721) 771: will.: Shall Mrs. Barebottle come in, Sir? joll.: That’s a She Knock-down too.|
|Pickwick Papers (1999) 497: I’ll try and bear up agin such a reg’lar knock down o’ talent.|
|Knickerbocker (N.Y.) XXI 484: ‘Tom and Jerry’ ushered before a Park audience the scientific Mr. T. Belcher Kay, one of the great knock-downs of foreign celebrity [DA].|
|The Down-Trodden 19/2: Mr. Tinkey suddenly mis-quoted a Latin phrase. This was a ‘knock-down argument’; a death-blow from which the gentleman could not recover, so [...] he took his cane and hat, and left.|
|Through the Looking-Glass 124: I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’.|
|Squattermania 244: ‘Well, isn’t the news absolutely stunning?’ said Sutton. ‘It is, my boy [...] a regular knock-down, in fact.’.|
(b) (also knocker-down) strong ale or liquor.
|In Praise of York-shire Ale 29: We’ve Ale also that’s call’d Knocker-down.|
|Journey to London in the Year 1698 p.35, cited in N&Q Ser. 6 XII (1885) 167: He answer’d me that he had a thousand such sort of liquors, as Humptie Dumtie, Three Threads, Four Threads, Old Pharaoh, Knockdown.|
|New Canting Dict. n.p.: Knock-down, very strong Ale or Beer.|
|, , ,||Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. 1725].|
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn).|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
(c) (US) a fight; also in fig. use, an undeniable argument.
|Sporting Mag. XXXIII. 6: This round produced the first blood, and first knock-down .|
|Kentuckian in N.Y. I 94: O! black eyes and bruises! what a rascally appetite I’ve got now for a knock down.|
|Following The Drum 33: Constantly were his pugnacious tendencies exhibited in [...] ‘little heat ups’ or ‘knock downs’.|
|Our Boys 85: It is highly improper for officers [...] to indulge in a vulgar knock-down.|
|Wanderings of a Vagabond 269: Two of the party had got into angry dispute relative to their respective fire-engine companies, which resulted in one of the parties calling the other a liar, and a square knock-down was the consequence.|
2. (Aus./N.Z./US) an introduction, esp. a formal introduction of a man to a woman in whom he is interested; thus give one a knock-down, to give one an introduction.
|Adventures of Fudge Fumble 61: I asked the young man if he would go down some night and give me a ‘knock down’ to the family.|
|Lantern (N.O.) 20 Aug. 3: An’ got a knock-down to all the officers.|
|Artie (1963) 19: Take me over and gi’ me a knock-down to the queen in the corner.|
|Sandburrs 28: I’ll bring him over to this boozin’ ken of ours, an’ cap youse a knock-down to him.‘The Humming Bird’ in|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 2 Nov. 36/2: So the sale is made; and when Jim goes down to the ‘kick‘ at Mint ‘Crick,’ and expects to get a ‘knock-down’ to the ‘noo teacher,’ he scents himself to the very boots, and goeth forth like a rose leaf on the breeze to make his conquest.|
|Lucky Seventh (2004) 288: If ever I’d ever had a knock-down to her [...] I’d have some right to horn in.‘The Pitch-Out’ in|
|Handful of Ausseys 179: Well, ’e’ gives me a knock-down to ’is tart.|
|Healesville & Yarra Glen Guardian (Vic.) 4/4: Maria gives me the knock-down to a shyin’ little shielah.|
|Nightmare Town (2001) 142: A certain party comes to me a couple of days ago with a knock-down from a party that knows me.‘Assistant Murderer’ in|
|World to Win 118: If you’re ever in St. Luke [...] I’ll give you a knock-down to all the local literati and so on.|
|Coll. Stories (1965) 156: He had his girl with him. I didn’t feel like butting in but he called me over and gave me a knock-down.‘That Summer’ in|
|Cast the First Stone 212: I’ll give you a knockdown to one of my regular customers.|
|At Night All Cats Are Grey 156: You should give me a knock-down to her.|
3. (US) information.
|Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 118: Knock Down. – An introduction. Information. As one would knock something within reach of another.|
|A Bottle of Sandwiches 27: Thanks for the shower an’ the knock-down.|
4. (Aus.) in financial/commercial uses [? abbr. knock-down money].
(a) a profit, usu. illicit.
|Corruption City 47: You were so busy figuring out the size of the knock-down.|
(b) a discount.
|Reinhart in Love (1963) 146: He always gets a ten to fifteen [per cent] knockdown there.|
(US) tips or gratuities.
|Amer. Notebooks (1932) 39: The hostlers, at taverns, call the money given them [...] ‘knock-down money.’.|
|(con. 1930s) Addicts Who Survived 168: You know what I mean by ‘knockdown money’? Tips men would give you – you wouldn’t turn them in.|
(US) to recognise.
|Barkeep Stories 27: ‘[W]e has give de knock-down to de copper as de son of one of de head guys ’mong dem downtown coppers’.|
(US black) to take note.
|Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 1: Gator, take a knock down to those blow tops, who are upping some real crazy riffs and dropping them on a mellow kick and chappie the way they pull their lay hips our ship that they are from the land of razz ma tazz.|