Knock one for six is an idiom that soared in popularity at the end of the twentieth century. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom knock one for six where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.
Knock one for six means to astonish, surprise, shock, or overwhelm. Knock one for six may mean that one is tremendously impressed with someone or something, or it may mean that one is surprised in a bad way that leaves one drained and unable to recover. The expression knock one for six comes from the sport of cricket. In cricket, if the batsman hits the ball over the boundary without bouncing, it counts for six runs. It is the worst outcome for the bowler, who is said to have been knocked for six. The expression knock one for six is popular in Great Britain and Australia.
The surgery knocked me for six. (Evening Express)
Maybe I should have been a bit more prepared if I’m honest because it knocked me for six. (Portsmouth News)
Gemma said she felt like she had “some sort of virus” which had “knocked her for six”, so decided to sweat out all the toxins in her £4,000 home sauna. (The Sun)