One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A short stick with a knob at the top, traditionally used as a weapon by the indigenous peoples of South Africa.
club, bludgeon, stick, truncheon, baton, blackthorn, mace, batView synonyms
- ‘The physical abuse included severe beatings with knobkerries which resulted in bruises, broken limbs and widespread lacerations.’
- ‘The new mace, in the shape of a knobkierie, was designed to reflect the history, tradition, diversity, culture, and languages of South Africa.’
- ‘A boy was expected to grow up tough, and hard working and skilled in handling a spear, axe and knobkerrie.’
- ‘It was a cold morning on Ray Street on 9 February 1955 when 2000 policemen, armed with guns, knobkerries and rifles, forcefully moved the families to Meadowlands, Soweto.’
- ‘Seven people were assaulted with knobkieries for refusing to take part in the strike in the Strand near Cape Town.’
Mid 19th century: from knob + -kerrie (from Nama kieri ‘knobkerrie’), suggested by Afrikaans knopkierie.
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