Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day Eleven

The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, and given that the Coronavirus crisis is giving too much time to read books, I thought I’d pick a daily word from it until I got bored…..

Baker-Kneed

This is a phrase that seems relatively common during the seventeenth and early eighteenth century and it appears frequently in newspapers and books. The dictionary gives the definition as “one whose knees knock together in walking, as if kneading dough”, in what today would I guess more commonly be referred to at knock-kneed. The knock-kneed term seems to date only from the late eighteenth century so this is perhaps when the two phrases switched in common usage.