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Knight

means simply a boy. (Saxon, cniht.) As boys (like the Latin puer and French garcon) were used as servants, so cniht came to mean a servant. Those who served the feudal kings bore arms, and persons admitted to this privilege were the king’s knights; as this distinction was limited to men of family, the word became a title of honour next to the nobility. In modern Latin, a knight is termed auraʹtus (golden), fròm the gilt spurs which he used to wear.

Last of the knights. Maximilian I. of Germany (1459, 1493–1519).

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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