Posted by Shae on April 23, 2004
In Reply to: Knocks something into a cocked hat posted by ESC on April 23, 2004
: : : i'm wondering where the phrase "knocks something into a feathered bard's hat" comes from, and what it means. thanks.
: : the expression I've heard is 'cocked hat' - may well be the same thing.
: Ditto. I don't know what a "cocked hat" is though.
E. Cobham Brewer 1810-1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Cocked Hat (A).
A hat with the brim turned, like that of a bishop, dean, etc. It is also applied to the chapeau bras, and the military full-dress hat, pointed before and behind, and rising to a point at the crown, the chapeau à cornu. "Cock" in this phrase means to turn; cocked, turned up. 1 Knocked into a cocked hat. In the game of nine-pins, three pins were set up in the form of a triangle, and when all the pins except these three were knocked down, the set was technically said to be "knocked into a cocked hat." Hence, utterly out of all shape or plumb. A somewhat similar phrase is "Knocked into the middle of next week."
See also: the meaning and origin of 'knocked into a cocked hat'.