Put a Sock in It (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Put a Sock in It"?

The term "put a sock in it" means be quiet. It is an impolite way of telling someone to shut up.
Put a Sock in It (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • I was trying to explain what happened, but Gran told me to put a sock in it.
  • Will you put a sock in it and stop whining?
  • She's playing that music again. Tell her to put a sock in it.
The term "put a sock in it" originated around 1914 in the United Kingdom (evidence). The "it" refers to someone's mouth, which, if stuffed with a sock, would stop them from talking.

It is mostly used in a group situation when one person is being overly loud or opinionated.
  • Bill: They never landed on the Moon. It's been proven. The flag waves. The shadows are wrong. The camera's focus crosses are behind the object. It's proven.
  • Troy: Bill, put a sock in it!
"Put a sock in it" carries the connotation of the request being the will of the whole group. In other words, it has a meaning similar to "For all our sakes, will you keep quiet!" From a grammatical perspective, it is an imperative sentence (i.e., an order).

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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs

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