knock (the) spots off (someone or something)

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knock (the) spots off (someone or something)

To completely outclass, outdo, or outperform someone or something; to soundly defeat or best someone or something. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Wow, this coffee knocks the spots off the stuff we get back home. Catherine knocked spots off the other kids in the spelling bee.
See also: knock, off, spot

knock spots off someone/something

BRITISH, INFORMAL
If one thing or person knocks spots off another, the first is much better than the second. I'm looking forward to the return of her chat show. It knocks spots off all the others. Caroline didn't have much experience, but she knocked spots off everyone else I'd interviewed — she was so charming and friendly. Note: The reference here is probably to someone who is shooting so well that they are able to knock out the spots or marks on a playing card that they are aiming at.

knock spots off

easily outdo. informal
This expression may refer to shooting out the pips (spots) on a playing card in a pistol-shooting competition. Although it is now found chiefly in British English, the phrase originated in America.
1997 Spectator [ Walter Laut Palmer's ] ‘Morning in Venice’ is a tour-de-force…It knocks spots off the neighbouring, deeply unattractive, Monet of a gondola.
See also: knock, off, spot

knock ˈspots off somebody/something

(British English, informal) be very much better than somebody/something else: This book knocks spots of all the other books on Napoleon.You’ll knock spots off her. You’re a much better player.
References in periodicals archive ?
See Mary Tudor knock the spots off Mary Queen of Scots!
SULTRY Daisy Lowe could knock the spots off her Strictly rivals, even in these sky-high heels.
From snake and zebra to leopard print, you'll knock the spots off the rest of the fashion pack Yellow and black animal print maxidress, PS60, SimplyBe.
But then I was never charging anyone more than PS100 to read my GCSE science paper or watch me slide about on a muddy field of a Sunday morning, so I expected slightly more than a "good try" from a restaurant whose surroundings can knock the spots off most of what Cardiff has to offer.
You knock the spots off any choirs in the North West and our surrounding area!
It managed to knock the spots off the Cape Mentelle and, my cohorts, that doesn't happen often.
In fact she is so confident in its ability to knock the spots off other style-leading cities that she has organised Teesside's first commercial showcase, the Designers Marketplace in Middlesbrough town centre.
The result is certain to knock the spots off Bet Lynch's leopardskin coat, but the big question is will any of tonight's soap stars to tempted to jack in the day job and follow Kylie into pop superstardom?
She may be 60-something, but Miss Bassey has the figure, voice and talent to knock the spots off most artists half her age - and long may she reign.
BARRY ROBSON is hoping Celtic can knock the spots off Rangers in the championship so he can have another night on the tiles.
SEXY Irish singer Una Gibney is vowing to knock the spots off the rest of the charts with her comeback single.
Huddersfield landlords really did knock the spots off the opposition when they won the Licensed Victuallers Association tournament for the third year running.
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