“Put a sock in it”
Meaning: a request to be quiet
This is a colloquial phrase that originated in the early 20th century. It is generally used when someone is being so noisy as to annoy others. The imagery behind the phrases is that putting a sock in whatever was causing the noise would quieten it down.
‘Pull your socks up’
Meaning: to make an effort to improve your work/ behaviour because it is not good enough
There’s no exact reasoning behind this phrase. Some have suggested it came from the military and was a call to wake up the men. As military men were always ready to go, all they’d need to do to be fully kitted up would be to pull their socks up.
‘Sock it to someone’
Meaning: to say or do something to someone in a very strong and direct way
It comes from probably around 17th Century Britain, when people said ‘give someone sock’. This meant to give someone a thrashing.
‘Blow/Knock your socks off’
Meaning: If something knocks your socks off, you find it extremely exciting or good.
The phrase was originally documented in the American South in the 1940s, where the phrase referred to beating somebody in a fight (similar to “knock his block off”). For this reason, the phrase originally had negative connotations, but began to acquire more positive connotations as the phrase was used more figuratively as a synonym for astonishing or impressing somebody.
‘Bless their cotton socks’
Meaning: said about someone, especially an adult, when you are pretending that you like them
It seems that a Far Eastern Bishop Cotton used to bless socks before they were distributed as charity. The expression derives from a package labelled “Cotton’s socks – for blessing”. Why he only distributed (or only blessed) socks, was not revealed.