knock somebody/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!
knock something into a cocked hatmainly 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.
knock something into a cocked hat1 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.
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.
knock something into a cocked hat
tv. to demolish a plan, a story, etc. You’ve knocked everything into a cocked hat.