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knock (one) sideways
1. To impact one with physical force, either intentionally or unintentionally, resulting in pain, disorientation, etc. He wasn't going very fast at all, but it still knocked me sideways when the cyclist ran into me.
2. To shock, surprise, astonish, or bewilder one. The end of that trick always knocks the audience sideways. I love watching their faces as they desperately try to figure it out. It really knocked Stu sideways when Olivia announced she was leaving the company.
knock someone for a loop
1. Fig. to strike someone hard. You really knocked me for a loop. I hope that was an accident. DI was really knocked for a loop by the falling branch.
2. and throw someone for a loop Fig. to confuse or shock someone. (This is more severe and upsetting than throw someone a curve.) When Bill heard the news, it threw him for a loop. The manager knocked Bob for a loop by firing him on the spot.
knock for a loop
Also, throw for a loop; knock down or over with a feather ; knock sideways. Overcome with surprise or astonishment, as in The news of his death knocked me for a loop, or Being fired without any warning threw me for a loop, or Jane was knocked sideways when she found out she won. The first two of these hyperbolic colloquial usages, dating from the first half of the 1900s, allude to the comic-strip image of a person pushed hard enough to roll over in the shape of a loop. The third hyperbolic term, often put as You could have knocked me down with a feather, intimating that something so light as a feather could knock one down, dates from the early 1800s; the fourth was first recorded in 1925.
look sideways at
Glance at suspiciously or amorously, as in I'm sure the detective was looking sideways at me, and it made me very nervous, or They were looking sideways at each other, and I don't think it was innocent. [Mid-1800s] Also see look askance.
be knocked sidewaysBRITISH
If something is knocked sideways, it is severely damaged, and may not recover. Most of the country's trade unions have been knocked sideways in the past decade. Confidence in the British legal system has been knocked sideways. Compare with knock someone sideways.
knock someone sidewaysBRITISH
If something knocks you sideways, it makes you feel amazed, confused, or very upset. What knocks most visitors sideways is the sheer power and beauty of the place. Something like this, a huge shock, completely knocks you sideways. Compare with be knocked sideways.
knock someone sidewaysaffect someone very severely; make someone severely depressed or unable to cope. informal
1998 Penelope Lively Spiderweb It's always knocked me sideways—the thought of what we carry around, stashed away.