In Reply to: Go for a sixer posted by Graham Cambray on January 18, 2009 at 23:44:
: : : What is the origin and full meaning of "to go for a sixer"? I heard it the other day from a young woman and I haven't heard since I was a child 40 years ago. Perhaps it is distinctly Australian.
: : Since you heard it in person, you ought to have asked for an explanation. A sixer, without contest, would suggest six of something, and the context might include the particularities of the person using the word. If it were someone male and in the U.S. I would be inclined to expect a six-pack of beer, but Australia is very far away.
: : SS
: It seems that "go for a six" was discussed some years back (//www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/43/messages/853.html), but I think that "going for a sixer" has developed a "harder" meaning in Oz (I'm in the UK) - more in the line of a major setback than a shock. At least, I'm assuming this is the meaning you refer to. Now, you can tell me: Isn't a "sixer" a goal in Rules? - in which case "going for a sixer" could mean "giving it your best shot", or something similar.
After writing this, something welled up from the back of my mind - my father using the phrase "gone for six" to mean "to die". I've had a quick look and (at http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=20657) found this:
TO GO FOR SIX [1940s and still in use]:
1) WWII R.A.F. slang for die, killed, or missing (see 1943 quote).
2) To be knocked down or knocked across a room
3) To be punished
If this is the meaning you're referring to, and bearing in mind the third meaning given above, this may not be connected to cricket, but possibly "six of the best" being six strokes of the cane as a punishment at school (in less enlightened times).