[Ads-l] knock for a loop (1916), throw for a loop (1925)

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 24 17:46:22 UTC 2015

HDAS has "knock for a loop" from 1923, and Michael Quinion has it from 1921:


This example from 1916 supports a boxing origin:

1916 _Kalamazoo Gazette_ 23 Jan. 16/3 After the McCarty mill I bumped
off Mike Burns in one round at Superior, Wis., and knocked a fellow
named Riley for a loop in three rounds at Minneapolis.

Fred Shapiro noted a 1937 cite for the "throw for a loop" variant in
this 2007 column by Nathan Bierma:


Here it is in a 1925 article about wrestling:

1925 _San Diego Union_ 17 Nov. 13/4 Londos is tackling a tough
adversary at the Coliseum next Tuesday when he meets Somsa Kozar, the
Armenian giant, but Jimmy is confident he will throw Kozar for a loop
and win his way to another chance at Joe Stecher's crown.

(Both cites are from GenealogyBank.)


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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