Posted by R. Berg on May 02, 2002
In Reply to: Knock your block off posted by James Briggs on May 02, 2002
: : :Thank you. Do you know how "block' came to mean our head?
: A block is a name for a solid piece of wood,
as well as other material. From the 14th century it was also the name of a mould
for a hat. Thus, by analogy, 'block' became another name for 'head'.
: I certainly heard the term 'knock his block off' fairly frequently, and figuratively, in the East End of London in the 1930s and 40s.
"Block" similarly referred to a barber's block, a roughly head-shaped piece of wood used as a wig stand. The Oxford Eng. Dict.'s first quotation for this use is from the 17th century.