digis asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 month ago

English speakers, could you help me?

I am not a native speaker of English. Could  someone tell me what does the phrase "knock it off" refer to in the  following context?

An eccentric engi-neer named William Murdoch — the same man who invented a steam locomotive in James Watt’s factory, before Watt told him to knock it off — installed the world’s first gas-lighting system in his home in Birmingham in 1792.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    "Knock it off" is a colloquial expression meaning "Stop doing that."    It is the sort of expression you shout at children who are doing something naughty.  Usually as "Oi, knock it off!"

    The person who wrote that sentence was aiming at a populist market, not a well-educated readership, by using such a colloquial expression.

    By the way - no dash needed in 'engineer'.

  • 1 month ago

    like to stop doing something if it is annoying or gets on ones nerves 

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