knock (someone or something) into a cocked hat

knock (someone or something) into a cocked hat

1. To upset or discredit something. A "cocked hat" is another name for the three-cornered hats that men commonly wore in the 18th century. Primarily heard in UK. Well, this hurricane has really knocked our vacation plans into a cocked hat. This new study knocks his claims into a cocked hat, don't you think?
2. To outdo or surpass something. Primarily heard in UK. Of course I have to take this offer—it knocks the other one into a cocked hat. I know Ellen has the highest GPA in our class, but I plan to knock her into a cocked hat this semester!
See also: cock, hat, knock
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

knock something into a cocked hat

Fig. to demolish a plan, a story, etc. I knocked his plans into a cocked hat. This bad weather has knocked everything into a cocked hat.
See also: cock, hat, knock
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

knock into a cocked hat

Debunk, render useless or unbelievable. For example, His findings knocked our theory into a cocked hat. This expression alludes to a style of hat with the brim turned up on three sides-the three-cornered (tricorne) hat worn by officers in the American Revolution-giving it a distorted look. [Early 1800s]
See also: cock, hat, knock
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

knock something into a cocked hat

mainly BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If one thing knocks another into a cocked hat, the first thing is much better or more successful than the second. I am writing a novel which is going to knock Proust into a cocked hat. I bet his IQ would knock Kane's into a cocked hat. Note: One explanation for this expression is that it refers to the cocked hats of the 18th century, which were made by folding the edge of a round hat into three corners or points. According to this explanation, the expression originally meant to change something completely. Alternatively, the expression may refer to an American game of skittles where only three pins were set up, in the triangular shape of a cocked hat.
See also: cock, hat, knock, something
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

knock something into a cocked hat

1 put a definitive end to something. 2 be very much better than someone or something.
A cocked hat is a hat with the brim permanently turned up, especially a style of three-cornered hat worn from the late 18th century to the early 19th century.
See also: cock, hat, knock, something
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

knock somebody/something into a cocked ˈhat

(British English) be very much better than somebody/something: This new software is going to knock everything else on the market into a cocked hat.
A cocked hat is an old-fashioned kind of hat with three corners often worn in the army and navy.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

knock something into a cocked hat

tv. to demolish a plan, a story, etc. You’ve knocked everything into a cocked hat.
See also: cock, hat, knock, something
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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