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Knock oneself out

verb phrase

[1936s+; perhaps fr Yiddish aroysshlogn zikh]
Make a great effort, as in I was knocking myself out to finish on time. This expression also is put negatively, Don’t knock yourself out, meaning “don’t exert yourself; it’s not worth that much effort.” [ c. 1930 ]
Enjoy yourself, have a good time, as in You’re off to Europe? Knock yourself out. [ ; mid-1900s ]
Both usages allude to knocking oneself unconscious (see break one’s ass


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