sock / clock [=hit]

redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
A doctor: So without even thinking, I just headbutt him, right in the face, bam, clock him in between the eyes and knock him out cold.

Source: Scrubs 802
Background: A blunt and insensitive female doctor tried to connect with a patient with a story of her sleeping with a chubby. Right in the middle of the things, she couldn't stand the snorting he made and knocked him out cold.

Is it okay to replace "clock" with "sock" without changing the meaning? The meanings seem to shade into one another, which makes me think that they're interchangeable in this case. Do you detect any difference in nuance?

Clock: to hit someone http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/clock_10#clock_18

Sock: to hit someone or something with a lot of force http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/sock_8#sock_12
 
  • lorelord

    Senior Member
    UK - english
    For me "Sock" implies fists, whereas "clock" is more general .. a hit.
    I dont think they are totally interchangeable.

    More thought - "clock" implies the face, Whereas "Sock" is more general - any part of the body.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    The only difference is that you "clock" people in their "clocks," i.e. their faces. A punch to the jaw, nose, or cheek could be a "clock."

    A "sock" is more general - I could "sock" you in between the eyes, or in the arm, or in the stomach.

    My sense is that "clocks" are more likely to be knockout punches, but that might just be my own impression. I feel like they're a bit more precise and deadly than "socks."
     
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