knock (the) spots off (someone or something)(redirected from knock the spots off)
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.
knock spots off someone/somethingBRITISH, 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 offeasily 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.