Something that is done especially well.
Example: Leah’s room was a mess, but she cleaned it all up and I have to say, she really knocked it out of the park.
In other words, Leah did a great job.
This idiom comes, or originates from, baseball. You’re probably familiar with some of the basics of baseball. A ball is pitched to the batter and the batter tries to hit the ball as hard as possible. Knocking ‘it’ (the ball) out of the park is the goal for the batter. This is also referred to as a home run, because if it happens, the batter gets to run safely to first, second, and third base and then finally back to the home plate.
In order to knock the ball out of the park (or hit a home run), the batter has to do an exceptional job at striking the ball. Later, this literal thing that a batter would do evidently went on to be used figuratively for when someone does an exceptional job at anything—it’s as if the person is a batter and they ‘knocked it out of the park.’
Anyways, the earliest I could find of this saying in print is from the late 19th century. Unsurprisingly, the term is being used in relation to baseball. This example comes from the newspaper Launchestion Examiner, December 1894:
“The new junior team possesses a splendid hitter in Richards, who managed four times to hit the ball out of the Park.”
Of note, an alternative way this expression is used is by substituting the word ‘knock’ with the word ‘hit.’ Also, the word ‘it’ is sometimes substituted for the words ‘the ball.’ An example can be seen below.
- Brian studied hard for an upcoming test, and as a result, he hit the ball out of the park.
- My computer was having all kinds of problems, so I gave it to my brother hoping he could fix it. Hours later he gave it back and he certainly knocked it out of the park. It works great now!
See Also: A list of baseball sayings