knuckle

\ \ [14] Knuckle originally denoted the rounded end of a bone at a joint, which sticks out when you bend the joint. This could be at any joint, including the elbow, the knee and even the joints of the vertebrae; only gradually did it become specialized to the finger joints. The word probably came from Middle Low German knökel (or a relative of it), which appears to have meant etymologically ‘little bone’. Knuckle down, in the sense ‘begin to work hard and conscientiously’, comes from the game of marbles, where players have to put their knuckles on the ground when shooting a marble with the thumb.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Knuckle — Knuc kle, n. [OE. knokel, knokil, AS. cuncel; akin to D. knokkel, OFries. knokele, knokle, G. kn[ o]chel, Sw. knoge, Dan. knokkel, G. knochen bone, and perh. to E. knock.] 1. The joint of a finger, particularly when made prominent by the closing… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • knuckle — (n.) mid 14c., knokel finger joint; any joint of the body, especially a knobby one; morbid lump or swelling; common Germanic (Cf. M.L.G. knökel, M.Du. cnockel, Ger. knöchel), lit. little bone, a dim. of P.Gmc. root *knuck bone (Cf. Ger. Knochen… …   Etymology dictionary

  • knuckle — ► NOUN 1) a part of a finger at a joint where the bone is near the surface. 2) a projection of the carpal or tarsal joint of a quadruped. 3) this projection as a joint of meat. ► VERB ▪ rub or press with the knuckles. ● knuckle down Cf. ↑ …   English terms dictionary

  • knuckle — [nuk′əl] n. [ME knokyl < or akin to MDu & MLowG knokel, dim. of knoke, bone < IE * gneuĝ : for IE base see KNOT1] 1. a) a joint of the finger; esp., the joint connecting a finger to the rest of the hand b) the rounded knob formed by the… …   English World dictionary

  • Knuckle — Knuc kle, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Knuckled};; p. pr. & vb. n. {Knuckling}.] To yield; to submit; used with down, to, or under. [1913 Webster] {To knuckle to}. (a) To submit to in a contest; to yield to. [Colloq.] See {To knock under}, under {Knock} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Knuckle — Knuc kle, v. t. To beat with the knuckles; to pummel. [R.] Horace Smith. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Knuckle — Personnages de Hunter × Hunter Article de la série Manga Liste des mangas par titre français autre A B …   Wikipédia en Français

  • knuckle — knuck|le1 [ˈnʌkəl] n [Date: 1300 1400; : Middle Low German; Origin: knökel small bone, knuckle ] 1.) your knuckles are the joints in your fingers, including the ones where your fingers join your hands ▪ Her knuckles whitened as she gripped the… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • knuckle — n. & v. n. 1 the bone at a finger joint, esp. that adjoining the hand. 2 a a projection of the carpal or tarsal joint of a quadruped. b a joint of meat consisting of this with the adjoining parts, esp. of bacon or pork. v.tr. strike, press, or… …   Useful english dictionary

  • knuckle — /ˈnʌkəl / (say nukuhl) noun 1. a joint of a finger, especially one of the joints at the roots of the fingers. 2. the rounded prominence of such a joint when the finger is bent. 3. a joint of meat, consisting of the parts about the carpal or… …   Australian English dictionary

  • knuckle — I UK [ˈnʌk(ə)l] / US noun [countable] Word forms knuckle : singular knuckle plural knuckles 1) [usually plural] one of the parts where your fingers can bend or where they join your hand 2) a piece of meat from an animal s lower leg • near the… …   English dictionary

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