Wednesday, 3 July 2013

To be knocked into a cocked hat

This means to be routed completely in a physical or verbal contest.

The expression comes from the practice of military officers to carry their soft hats under the arm, thus flattening it out. The hats became triangular shaped when flattened. So, when someone was crushed in a contest, they were flattened as completely as an officer's cocked hat.


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