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Difference between Don’t knock yourself out and Knock yourself out

don’t knock yourself out—(coll.)

1. don’t overexert yourself in an effort to accomplish smth.:

  • Don’t knock yourself out trying to track down your child’s allergies unless they truly are persistent.

2. (ironic) don’t overexert yourself in doing smth. that does not require much effort:

  • “Well, don’t knock yourself out to say something, Sarah,” he said. His tone was teasing, but his eyes were not.

knock yourself out—(sl.) go ahead; do as you please (usually in answer to a proposal a person is not happy with):

  • If you want to make hotel and airline and car reservations and take care of everything, well, then, knock yourself out.