knock for a loop

Idioms & Phrases

knock for a loop

Also, throw for a loop; knock down or over with a feather; . Overcome with surprise or astonishment, as in The news of his death knocked me for a loop, or Being fired without any warning threw me for a loop, or Jane was knocked sideways when she found out she won. The first two of these hyperbolic colloquial usages, dating from the first half of the 1900s, allude to the comic-strip image of a person pushed hard enough to roll over in the shape of a loop. The third hyperbolic term, often put as You could have knocked me down with a feather, intimating that something so light as a feather could knock one down, dates from the early 1800s; the fourth was first recorded in 1925.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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