A reader emailed to ask about an expression he heard while watching the news on an English TV channel. He heard someone use the expression "knock it off" but could not understand what it meant. This is a slang expression with a very simple meaning. It means "stop it". The expression is used when someone does something that annoys you. If two of your friends always argue when you go out with them, you can say "knock it off". I started using this expression a lot when anti-extradition protests began last summer. Some of my friends supported the protests. They belong to the so-called yellow camp. Others supported the government and belong to the blue camp.
The two camps had a lot of arguments on our WhatsApp chat group. I never joined the arguments but told them to knock it off. Eventually, I exited the group. There are many idioms and expressions with the word "knock". One slang expression is "knock your socks off". This expression is used when something is very exciting, impressive, or good. If a restaurant serves very good food at a reasonable price, you can say the restaurant knocked your socks off. Another expression is "knock some sense into" someone. This expression means to try hard to make someone not to be silly or to make that person start to behave sensibly.
If your friend has no musical talent but wants to leave his good job to be a singer, you can try to knock some sense into him. Another expression is "knock the habit". This means to give up something harmful that you have done for a long time. If your girlfriend smokes, you can tell her to "knock the habit", which means to stop smoking. Telling people to stop smoking is easier said than done. This means it's easy to tell someone to stop smoking but it's hard for them to do it. It's easier said than done for me to stop drinking wine!
一位讀者傳電郵來，問及他最近在英語電視頻道上看新聞報道時聽到的一個習語。他聽到有人用上習語“knock it off”，但不太明白這話的意思。這是一個俚語，意思很簡單，就是「夠了，停止吧！」（stop it）。這是當有人做一些打擾着你的事時，便可以用到這個習語。要是你有兩個朋友常常在你們一起外出的時候爭吵，你便可以說“knock it off”。上年夏天，自反《逃犯條例》示威以來，我便開始經常用到這個習語。我的一些朋友支持示威，他們屬於所謂的黃絲陣營；另一些朋友則支持政府，屬於藍絲陣營。
兩個陣營的人在我們的WhatsApp群組有許多的爭論。我從不參與爭論，只會叫他們別吵了（knock it off）。最終，我退出了那個群組。“Knock”這個字還可以有許多的成語和習語，其中一個俚語是“knock your socks off”，它是用來形容某事令人非常興奮、刮目相看，又或是很厲害的。若一間餐廳的食物很好吃，價錢又相宜，你便可以說那間餐廳knocked your socks off。另一個習語是“knock some sense into”someone，它的意思是迫使某人別那麼糊塗，又或使那人學懂一些道理、做事理智一些。
若你的朋友毫無音樂天份，卻想辭職去做歌手，你可以嘗試逼他清醒、理智一點（knock some sense into him），別亂發白日夢了。另一個習語是“knock the habit”，意思是戒除一些長期的惡習。若你的女友吸煙，你可以叫她去“knock the habit”，意即叫她戒煙。叫人戒煙是 easier said than done，意即說易行難，叫人戒煙是易的，但他們真正要戒掉煙癮是很難的。要我戒酒，同樣是說易行難（easier said than done）！
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧