To knock off

to cease, as from work; to desist.
- De Quincey.
To force off by a blow or by beating.
To assign to a bidder at an auction, by a blow on the counter.
To leave off (work, etc.).

See also: Knock, Knock, Knock, Knock

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in classic literature ?
If you want to preach, come and take a pick now, and preach when they're resting,' and he did and worked well too, and afterwards when we had to knock off, he preached, and Trent took the chair and made 'em all listen.
Jackson promised to knock Ah Moy's block off if he did not feed the puppy well, while Sigurd Halvorsen, in the forecastle, did his best to knock off Henrik Gjertsen's block when the latter was guilty of kicking Scraps out of his way.
If we was to put in another night this way we'd have to knock off for a week to let our hands get well -- couldn't touch a case-knife with them sooner."
Ryan Maloney took 6-22 as the visitors were swept away for 57 before Skelmersdale's openers took 13.3 overs to knock off the runs.
Just over a year ago that Dave the owner Saddleback Leather released a video entitled How to Knock Off a Saddleback Bag, that amassed nearly 500k views, in which the owner of and designer for the 10 year old company spoke out with humorous but often harsh words against what he sees as thieves and opportunists.
The Wearsiders took just six overs to knock off the scores - Ord again doing the business with 26 not out and backed by 16 from Blacklock.
The result is a small riser neck with a breaker edge designed to knock off easily for better casting cleaning.
But opening batsmen Ian Bell and Matthew Prior then made batting look equally as simple as they took just 14.1 overs to knock off the runs without losing a wicket.
The deterioration of the pitch was emphasised by the fact it took 14.2 overs for the Indian side to knock off the low total.
Tamworth were tumbled out for 121 and Elizabethans took just over 35 overs to knock off the runs.
He's also ponied up another $2,000 to Maria Cantwell, the former Real Network CEO who's had trouble paying off her '00 campaign debt in the wake of the stock market downturn, and to Tom Strickland, who's running an underdog campaign to knock off GOP senator Wayne Allard in Colorado.
Inspired but never limited by the work of Alfred Hitchcock--Harry's last name, Balestrero, is that of Henry Fonda's accused innocent in The Wrong Man--Moll's film owes debts to both Strangers on a Train (Robert Walker assuming he has the right to knock off object-of-desire Farley Granger's wife) and Rope (John Dall and, once again, Farley Granger as two intellectual lovers so arrogant that they commit the "perfect" murder).