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Definition of a "knut" please


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#1 Moonraker

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 04:53 PM

Just seen a WWI photo of soldiers outside a hut with KNUTS on the door. I'm guessing this was a popular term in WWI, a bit like "we are the CHAMPIONS", rather than a regimental nickname. I recall a popular music-hall song went:

I'm Gilbert the Filbert,
The knut [nut?] with a K,
The Pride of Piccadily,
A blase roue.

A search of The Times came up with this on February 22, 1916, but exactly what was a knut?

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#2 Horace Bachelor

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:02 PM

Sounds like it could be a bit rude to me.
Or is that just the way my mind works?

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#3 Kate Wills

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:08 PM

Just the way your mind works Rich.

A knut was a young man about town, a dedicated follower of fashion. Do we have a modern equivalent?

#4 squirrel

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:23 PM

Knut - originally an Anglo Saxon name for a shaven headed or bald warrior. Don't know what the WW1 connection was though.

#5 BeppoSapone

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:30 PM

"Knut Important person, swanker.

General. From 1911 (OED). Attested in numerous sources.

This was possibly derived from a popular music hall song from 1914 by Arthur Wimperis, Gilbert the Filbert, the Colonel of the Knuts. F&G write that a ‘crude parody of the song was much used as a marching song’. A ‘knut’ was generally ‘a dandy, a fashionable or showy young man’ (OED, Partridge) and a jocular variant of ‘nut’."


Source: http://www.anu.edu.a...ehist/wwi/K.php

#6 GRUMPY

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:32 PM

Knut Important person, swanker.

General. From 1911 (OED). Attested in numerous sources.

This was possibly derived from a popular music hall song from 1914 by Arthur Wimperis, Gilbert the Filbert, the Colonel of the Knuts. F&G write that a 'crude parody of the song was much used as a marching song'. A 'knut' was generally 'a dandy, a fashionable or showy young man' (OED, Partridge) and a jocular variant of 'nut'.

Whoops! Beaten, just, into second place!

#7 J T Gray

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:32 PM

Amazing what you discover here!

This now explains Sir Kreemy Knut, the "face" of Sharp's Toffee.

http://www.mascot-ma...html

Anyone from Maidstone know whether the old advertising hoarding on a roof with a parrot on it advertising "Sharps - the word for toffee" is still there?

Adrian

#8 BeppoSapone

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:35 PM

Wasn't the man who sung the song killed whilst jumping from an observation balloon that started to burn? Or have I imagined that?

#9 Horace Bachelor

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:42 PM

Many apologies. I hang my head in shame.
In my defence, I have never heard of a Knut before but whilst doing a Google search, I happened upon this site. Takes all sorts I suppose. http://www.knut.me.u...eu/inter1_e.htm

Rich

#10 Terry_Reeves

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 06:03 PM

Captain Basil Hallam Radford was the original K-nut "the dashing roue" referred to above. He created the character for the revue "The Passing Show" which opened in April 1914, and played the part of a man about town in it. Th Song was written by Arthur Wimperis.

He joined the RFC in the summer of 1915 starting his training at the Kite Baloon School, Roehampton. he Joined No 3 Kite Ballooon Sectio on 9 June 1916 and a few days later became Flight Commander, No 1 Army Kite Ballooon Section.

On 20th August 1916, he was aloft in a balloon with 2Lt PB Moxon behind Beaumont Hamel. The balloon was seen to break way from its mooring as it rose and Moxon parachuted to safety, but Radford was seen to fall with out a parachute landing on the Acheux Rd.

Terry Reeves

#11 Jim Clay

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 06:10 PM

QUOTE (Horace Bachelor @ Feb 1 2006, 05:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I happened upon this site. Takes all sorts I suppose.

Takes all sorts indeed, Rich biggrin.gif You'll be adding it to your favourites, then? blink.gif

Jim

#12 Tom Morgan

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 06:54 PM

Never mind Gilbert the Filbert - did The Times REALLY print N.C.O.'s with an apostrophe?? (See post 1). I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it.

Angry of Wednesbury.

#13 zijde26

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 06:57 PM

As far as it concerns ' Knut '

I do have a norwegian friend, named ' Knut ', and coming from the 'Lofoten' (northern Norway).

Gilbert Deraedt biggrin.gif

#14 Paul Nixon

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 09:27 AM

Though that you might be interested in the use of knut in context. This extract is taken from The 18th Division in The Great War by G H F Nichols (Blackwood 1922) and picks up after men from the division had captured Regina Trench on 21st October 1916:

"General Maxse and General Higginson were particularly pleased with this success, not alone for the strategical value. It proved that the infantry recruits who had replaced so many men lost on 1st July and at Thiepval and in Schwaben, were up to standard. The 10th Essex in particular had become practically a new battalion; and in this connection the Rev David Randall who was Padre to the Essex from February 1916 to the end of the war, quotes a queer illustration of how doubt was turned into confidence. Just before the attack, he and Major A S Tween, the second in command, who had gained his DSO in Delville Wood, were walking together during the march up the communication trench.

"We both had the feeling,” says the Padre, “that the old 10th Essex had gone and Tween confided to me that he was a little anxious as to how the new men would bear themselves. But just afterwards, along Rifle Trench, we came upon a half-buried dead German. One leg stuck out of the mud; it displayed a sock of vivid and wonderful hue. ‘My Gawd, warn’t he a Knut ’ exclaimed one of the men up in a front-line trench for the first time. It sounds trivial, but that remark removed Tween’s apprehension. He felt after that that things would go well with the battalion. And he was right.” It was one of those partly seasoned men of the 10th Essex who found himself disarmed in the struggle in Regina Trench. He went for the German who was threatening him with a bayonet, seized him by the neck with his bare hands and throttled him."

#15 Jim Clay

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 10:06 AM

Excellent quote, Paul - ta.

As for apostrophes (see Tom's - sorry, "Angry of Wednesbury's" - post), I'm surprised none of the Forum pedants have picked up Tom's pedantry. Am I mis-remembering my grammar lessons? Wasn't it correct usage to indicate an abbreviation? Like the greengrocer's tomato's - wrong (doubly so); tom's - right; or cucumber's - wrong; cue's - right? Sorry, off-topic - but Tom started it biggrin.gif

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#16 Horace Bachelor

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 10:18 AM

QUOTE (Jim Clay @ Feb 1 2006, 06:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Takes all sorts indeed, Rich biggrin.gif You'll be adding it to your favourites, then? blink.gif


laugh.gif

#17 Tom Morgan

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 10:55 AM

QUOTE (Jim Clay @ Feb 2 2006, 10:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Excellent quote, Paul - ta.

As for apostrophes (see Tom's - sorry, "Angry of Wednesbury's" - post), I'm surprised none of the Forum pedants have picked up Tom's pedantry. Am I mis-remembering my grammar lessons? Wasn't it correct usage to indicate an abbreviation? Like the greengrocer's tomato's - wrong (doubly so); tom's - right; or cucumber's - wrong; cue's - right? Sorry, off-topic - but Tom started it biggrin.gif

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I think it's incorrect to use an apostrophe for plurals, such as my pencil's, best banana's and member's only.

If I'm right then it applies to all plurals, including N.C.O.'s. I remember a couple of years ago the Department of Education (or it might have been a political party) produced billboard posters mentioning GCSE's and had to withdraw them amid much embarrassment when someone pointed out the error.

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A: Which Tyler

Tom

#18 Dragon

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 10:57 AM

A small town that I know very well derives its name from Canute – Cunetesford in the Domesday Book, Knutsford now. He forded our river in 1016.

However, to this question:

According to my copy of the Oxford Etymological Dictionary, knut appeared in 1910, meaning a smart, fashionable young man. It’s described as a jocular form of ‘nut’. The additional ‘k’ is interesting. (Jim, would you like to ask me about it?)

Just in case you’re interested, nut derives from hnutu (Old English). The h was pronounced like a German ch. Think of Welsh cnau (singular), cneuen (plural) (= nut/s) where the c is still pronounced.

Gwyn

#19 Dragon

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:00 AM

In my opinion, though I am not an expert in graphic grammatical function signifiers, Angry of Wednesbury is correct.

Gwyn

#20 Steve Bramley

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:05 AM

Not many people know this...but,

During the Great War, our revered neighbours, Scunthorpe United F.C., were at the time in their formative years and still more than forty away from entry to the football league. They were referred to (with affection i'm sure) In the Grimsby News as 'The Knuts'.

Since entry to the football league the 'K' has been dropped.

Sorry Chris, couldn't resist it wink.gif


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#21 Dragon

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:09 AM

QUOTE (Jim Clay @ Feb 2 2006, 10:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Am I mis-remembering my grammar lessons?


I fear so, Mr Clay, or perchance you had an English teacher wot got it rwong.

Apostrophes signify omissions of letters. I'll, it'll. Or they signify the genitive and the contrast between a single possessor or more than one. Jim's bikes, the girls' bikes. Which also comes from omission of letters, going back hundreds of years, but that would mean diverting from the point of the thread.

They don't signify plurals, though incorrect usage does occur because sometimes people are uneasy about wot is rite.

Gwyn

#22 Horace Bachelor

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:10 AM

QUOTE (Tom Morgan @ Feb 2 2006, 10:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it's incorrect to use an apostrophe for plurals, such as my pencil's, best banana's and member's only.


But it would be correct, although untrue, to say 'My member's only 10" long'

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#23 Dragon

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:12 AM

QUOTE (Horace Bachelor @ Feb 2 2006, 11:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
... it would be correct, ... to say 'My member's only 10" long'


No, it wouldn't, because you left out the full stop.

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#24 Paul Nixon

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:46 AM

As Gwyn brought up the subject of Canute and as this does get us back to knut via Cnut, I can't resist recalling an old cartoon of the good king, sitting in his throne with waves lapping around his ankles while one courtier whispers to another, "What a silly cnut".

Did someone say moderator?

#25 Jim Clay

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 12:01 PM

QUOTE (Dragon @ Feb 2 2006, 11:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I fear so, Mr Clay, or perchance you had an English teacher wot got it rwong.

Apostrophes signify omissions of letters. I'll, it'll. Or they signify the genitive and the contrast between a single possessor or more than one. Jim's bikes, the girls' bikes. Which also comes from omission of letters, going back hundreds of years, but that would mean diverting from the point of the thread.

They don't signify plurals, though incorrect usage does occur because sometimes people are uneasy about wot is rite.

Gwyn

Ah well, you see, that's wot I'm sayin', innit. " Wasn't it correct usage to indicate an abbreviation?" Wot I meant was wot you said, viz: "Apostrophes signify omissions of letters" - and "N.C.O.'s" certainly appears to be missing a few. Just that I'm stressed by the struggle to reach 300 before Chris flips that switch laugh.gif .

Is this one for Pedants' Corner in Skindles?

Jim



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