Origin of phrase "knocked them for six"

In a scene in The Last Emperor, Pu Yi is at a big party with Westerners and the radio announces that the Guomindang forces “have met the Reds and knocked them for six! The Reds have been defeated!” (Champagne corks popped, general jubilation.) What is the origin of that phrase?

Cricket. Highest possible scoring action.

The American translation would be “knocked them out of the park”, I suppose.

To elaborate, if the batsman hits the ball over the boundary rope without it bouncing beforehand, he scores six runs. (If the ball bounces, or rolls over the rope, he scores four.)

It is possible, in theory at least, to run more than six runs, but in general “hitting it for six” is the best you can do.

Apropos of nothing, but this bit of dialogue always amuses me:
Interviewer: Do you believe that the government is winning the battle against terrorists?
Helpmann: Oh, yes. Our morale is much higher than theirs. We’re fielding all their strokes, running a lot of them out, and pretty consistently knocking them for six. I’d say they’re nearly out of the game.

Interviewer: But Mr. Helpmann, the bombing campaign is now in its thirteenth year.
Helpmann: Beginner’s luck.[right]–Brazil[/right]


Ah. I mistakenly assumed it had something to do with a sport. :wink:

It seems to have picked up an American flavour to it though - I’ve only ever heard it as being hit for six. I’d be interested to see what other cricketing terms have found their way into US English. Or have I bowled you a googly?

I believe there are parts of San Francisco where you can quite often see a chinaman. :smiley:

Bet that’s got them stumped.

They’ll be bowled over.

I’ll bite - where does this come from?

Check This one out.

Although “stumped” is a cricketing term, describing one way that a batter can be out, I’m not sure that “stumped” meaning puzzled or under a difficulty comes from cricket: I think it comes from tree stumps, which cause difficulties for farmers, etc.

Imagine that in baseball the batter is not automatically out if he steps off the plate in swinging at the ball, but only if the catcher can tag the plate with the ball before he gets back, and you’ve pretty much got it.

Hmm, answering that could be a real sticky wicket.

Cricket puns - duck!

Ohio must be rubbing off. Batter is what goes on fish.

Batsman! :smiley:

Embankment, with three blue tokens!

Oh wait. Wrong thread. Sorry.

That would take some incredibly bad fielding in responsoe to a non-boundary hit to run for more than six. On a good delivery which the batsman knocks for a boundary on the fly, the laws dictate that he shall be credited with six runs automatically; there is no attempt to run for more than that score.

Unless the batter is a woman, of course.