knock yourself out

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Scully, reluctant, has to perform an autopsy on a body, which she doesn't find necessary. She says to her assistant:
Scully: Let’s start with the photos. In fact, let’s just do photos. External exam only.
Assistant: This guy came a long way just to have his picture taken.
Scully: Knock yourself out.
The X-Files, episode Folie à Deux

How do you understand this phrase in this context?
Thank you.
 
  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    "Knock yourself out" is a fixed phrase and an idiom that means, "You have my permission to proceed, though I am not really interested in what you find out. If doing [in this case, 'the autopsy'] so pleases you, go ahead and do it."
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Yes, it's just this idiom has also other meanings:):

    to make a great effort to do something for someone or some group

    to make yourself ill with tiredness
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    No, the standalone expression “Knock yourself out” only has the meaning “you have my permission to do this but I either don’t care about the result or don’t think you will succeed”
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I suspect the phrase comes from this reasoning:

    Go ahead and wear yourself out ["knock yourself out"] pursuing what I consider a worthless task.
     
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