Bowl over

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Bowl over is an expression that has a literal meaning but may also be used as an idiom. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic phrase bowl over, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

The literal meaning of bowl over is to knock someone down. The figurative or idiomatic meaning of bowl over is to surprise someone, to astonish or amaze someone. The idiom bowl over is usually meant to express something pleasant. Bowl over is a term that first came into use in the 1800s and is taken from the sport of cricket. In cricket, an over is six consecutive deliveries bowled from one end of the pitch to the batter, who is located at the other end of the pitch. Related phrases are bowls over, bowled over, bowling over.


Good-looking, tall and looking sharp in uniforms, they are actually hairstylists at the premium branch of the Matt Barber Shop in Kuala Terengganu that has customers bowled over with their fancy skills. (The Daily Express)

PEEBLES Brownies have been bowled over by the kindness of a local sports club after almost being made homeless. (Peeblesshire News)

The fact that I’d never liked Mister Rogers as a kid, smirking even as a kindergartener at his cutesy indoor shoe routine, seemed irrelevant because the beauty of his kindness and strength had so bowled me over when I’d watched the documentary as a 44-year-old. (The National Post)