Green’s Dictionary of Slang

knight of the... n.

also burgess of the...

‘Various jocular (formerly often slang) phrases denoting one who is a member of a certain trade or profession, has a certain occupation or character etc. In the majority of these the distinctive word is the name of some tool or article commonly used by or associated with the person designated, and the number of such phrases may be indefinitely increased.’ (OED) While the earlier (16C–18C) terms definitely have this occupational basis, the later (19C) ones tend to use the occupation in more of an ironic or joking sense.

[UK]Hickscorner Biii: I am come of goode kynne I tell the[e] My moder was a lady of the stewes blode borne And knyght of the halter my fader ware an horne.
[UK]Nashe Pierce Pennilesse in Works II (1883–4) 7: [Author to the Printer] In one place of my Booke, Pierce Penilesse faith but to the Knight of the Post, I pray how might I call you, and they say, I meant one Howe, a Knaue of the trade, that I neuer heard of before.
[UK]Beaumont & Fletcher Scornful Lady III i: If you keep this quarter, and maintain about you Such Knights o’ the Sun as this is, to defy Men of employment to you, you may live; But in what fame?
[UK]R. Brome Damoiselle III ii: In the name of Peasantry, what Knight art thou, / If not the Knight of the Plough-share?
[UK]H. Glapthorne Wit in a Constable II i: From the glory of her fathers trade, The Knight o’the Burning pestle.
[UK]Greene & Lodge Lady Alimony I iii: That Knight of the Sun who imploy’d me, should have done his errand himself.
[UK]Poor Robins Character of France title page: By Poor Robin, Knight of the Burnt-Island.
[UK]T. Shadwell Epsom Wells I i: We are like Knight Errands, or Knights of the Bath.
[UK]Dialgue betw. a Yorkshire Alderman and a Salamanca Doctor 1: How now Lie apace, Vicar of Tyburn and Knight of the noble Order of the Halter.
[UK]N. Ward London Spy XII 286: At last one of the Burgesses of the Dripping Pan [i.e. a cook] starts up. [Ibid.] 287: He that was the chief Leader of the Knights of the Frying-Pan, strutted about.
[UK] in Wit’s Cabinet 125: A Knight of the long Robe is more honourable than a Knight made in a Field; for Furs are dearer than Spurs.
[UK]N. Ward Compleat and Humorous Account of Remarkable Clubs (1756) 249: These Knights of the Nosegay [i.e. florists], or floriferous Gentlemen, who are seldom to be seen without a Flower in their Mouths, or stuck into their Button-Holes.
[UK]Fielding Don Quixote II iii: Notwithstanding what you may have heard of the Knight of the Long-purse, if you oppose him briskly, I dare answer for your Success.
[UK] in Sadler Song 127 Muses Delight 278/2: A whipping-post knight!
[UK]E. Gayton Festivous Notes I iii 18: It once happened to a Knight of the Wallet.
[UK]G. Parker View of Society II 192: A French Nobleman [...] saw the process of detection, came up to our Knight of Industry, and told him, that ‘he supposed he had forgottten his pocket-book in his lodgings’.
[UK]J. Freeth ‘Blood Royal’ Political Songster 177: A Knight of the Thistle, or Knight of the Garter, / Was ne’er any better.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Jan. III 209/1: A party of tradesmen, amongst whom was a hair-dresser, undertook to perform the tragedy [...] the part of Jassier being allotted to the knight of the comb [etc.]. [Ibid.] Mar. 304/1: He [...] advises parents not to be so weak as to give their children a liberal education, with a view of becoming [...] ‘Knights of the Anvil.’.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Mar. V 308/2: Mrs Middleton had made all the out-offices [...] the shrubberies and bathing-house, the frequent scene of her criminal intercourse with her Knight of the Curry-comb [i.e. a groom].
[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Epistle to Count Rumford’ Works (1801) V 449: Knight of the Dishclout, wheresoe’er I walk I hear thee, Rumford, all the kitchen talk.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Mar. XXV 315/2: With the iron frying pan in her uplifted hands eagerly waiting to cut down the [...] knight of the hammer.
[Ire]Spirit of Irish Wit 152: A Mr Spedding, Knight of the Ivory Cubes. and celebrated in the gambling annals of Dublin.
[UK]J.H. Lewis Lectures on Art of Writing (1840) 39: I am a Master of Arts [...] Knight of the Cane cudgel.
[UK]‘One of the Fancy’ Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress 76: As sweet as the brandy and tea, rather thinnish, / That Knights of the Rumpad so rurally sip.
[Scot]Sir W. Scott Kenilworth I 156: When an old song comes across us merry old knights of the spigot, it runs away with our discretion.
[UK]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 10 Oct. 5/2: A good fight took place between [...] two Knights of the Currycomb.
[UK]J. Wight Mornings in Bow St. 228: Mr. Gluckman the bass singer, Mr. Phelim O'Toole the strong-backed Knight of the Knot.
[Ire]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 28 Aug. 245/1: [A]n immense muster of the most celebrated Knights of Dough in the metropolis.
[UK]Chester Chron. 1 Dec. 4/4: [headline] A Knight of the Bodkin.
[UK]C.M. Westmacott Eng. Spy II 291: There is sometimes a little fastidiousness about these knights of the saddle-bag, in admitting a stranger to hob and nob with them.
[UK]Bell's Life in London 5 Feb. 7/1: The presence of these gentlemen [...] the Knights of the Fives [i.e. prizefighters].
[UK]Egan Bk of Sports (1832) 20: The ‘Knight of the Block’ [i.e. a barber] has beaten me against my will.
[US]Albany Microscope (NY) 2 June n.p.: John Carmichael, baker [...] This knight of the dough [etc].
[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) Sept. 8 n.p.: Prince Andrew, Knight of the Hammer and Anvil.
[UK]song title in Rummy Cove’s Delight in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) III 98: The Knight of the New Iron Goose.
[UK]J. Grant Sketches in London 202: ‘That is his right name,’ insisted the knight of the bludgeon.
[UK]Era 11 Mar. 10/4: Somewhere in the West a sable Knight of the lather was [...] shaving a ‘hoosier’.
[UK]Sam Sly 24 Mar. 3/1: He advises P. W. [...] a knight of the counter, not to ‘do the extensive’ in that heavy sack coat, in which he tries to pass himself off for a gentleman.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 8 Feb. 2/7: [T]he ‘Repentent Cross-leg Knight of the Cabbage and Shears '[i.e. a tailor]’.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 3 Apr. 6/1: We will take leave of the Knights of the bag [i.e. a tramp].
[US]Life in Boston & N.Y. (Boston, MA) 1 Oct. n.p.: The other two were knights of the toddy stick, from a well known rum shop.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 4 June 3/2: A knight of the hammer and pulpit [i.e. an auctioneer] .
[US]Life in Boston & N.Y. (Boston, MA) 14 Apr. n.p.: A second grand foot race [...] between a celebrated knight of Hoops and Staves [i.e. a cooper], and an Amatuer [sic].
[UK]Thackeray Adventures of Philip (1899) 141: The dice-box went round in many a haunt of pleasure. The knights of the Four Kings travelled from capital to capital, and engaged each other or made prey of the unwary.
[UK] in Songs for the Army 26–28: [titles] The Knight of the Rose/ The Knight of the Shamrock/ The Knight of the Thistle.
[UK]J. Diprose London Life 42: These knights of the barrow – in the language of the fraternity – often boast that if one ‘pulls up his boot,’ he can ‘make the up his leg’ by going to market early and ‘knock in’ his ‘ten or twelve hog afore breakfast’.
[UK]Morpeth Herald 30 Mar. 6/3: ‘Respected citizen, and of the honorable craft of the tailor,’ [...] Mr Thomas Pow, knight of the scissors, bowed.
[UK]Leeds Times 30 Apr. 8/2: The ranks of the ‘blue army’ [...] in favour of teetotalism [...] ought to be extended to the knight of the blue banner in his crusade against the temptations of the bottle.
[US] ‘The Jolly Vaquero’ in Lingenfelter et al. (eds.) Songs of the Amer. West (1968) 337: True knight of the saddle is he.
[UK]Daily Tel. 18 Nov. n.p.: The crack coaches... were tooled by expert ‘knights of the bench’.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 30 Jan. 14/1: [of a travelling salesman] A Knight of the Grip married the girl who dusted his room.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 16 Oct. 8: [pic. caption] The extraordinary performance [...] of a well-known copper and a female knight of the beerglass [i.e. barmaid] at Reading, PA.
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler 188: When I saw the knight of the punch bearing down upon them, I jumped up and met him.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 26 Oct. 3/2: Ten to one was freely offered by one local knight of the hammer.
[UK]Sporting Times 29 Mar. 6/5: What’s worse than a boring barber? Pitcher [...] went into a King’s Cross chin-tearer’s to be scraped. The knight of the lather, as he ‘went over’ the ground, ran his fingers daintily over Pitcher’s caput.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 15 Apr. 1/8: A Surrey Hills pawnbroker [...] deposed that Mr James Thomas [...] came into his shop [...] and picked up two very fine gold nugget pins and asked: ‘Would you recommend me to take them?’ ‘Yes I would,’ replied the Knight of the Golden Balls.
[US]Spanish Fork Press (UT) 4 Oct. 3/4: They have chosen knights of the yard-stick, a quill-pusher, and a lawyer [...] and propose to place these men to make your laws.
[UK]‘Pot’ & ‘Swears’ Scarlet City 132: Oscar [...] is a most remarkable man among knights of the napkin [i.e. waiters].
[US]L.A. Herald 9 Apr. 🌐 I turn to the blue-coated Knight of the Trolley, who tells me just exactly how to get on and off a car.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 12 Oct. 3/2: Just remark such truth is painin’ in a knight of rod and net; / Then swim out! and mooch for Canaan, ’cos your swag is gettin’ wet!
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 17 July 1/1: The supper-room scandal at a riverview pub concerns a commercial and a hammer-knight's helpmeet [...] the artless auctioneer goes about serenely unconscious of the commercial’s caper.
[UK]Sporting Times 27 May 1/2: He went to get his hair cut, and the knight of the scissors tucked a napkin under his chin.
[US]C.E. Mulford Bar-20 iv: Two score or more joyous cowboys from the neighboring ranches, who livened things as those knights of the saddle could.
[US]N.Y. World 29 Sept. in Fleming Unforgettable Season (1981) 267: The gallant Knight of the Wallop, ‘Turkey Mike’ Donlin [i.e. a batter].
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 10 Jan. 11/1: [headline] KNIGHTS OF THE KNUCKLE / FLUTTERS FOR FISTIC FAME.
[Aus]E.S. Sorenson Bush Cooks in Life in the Aus. Backblocks 82: The ‘knights of the flour-bag’ come in for a good deal of discussion at camp fires. A stockman one night related an experience with a ‘pick-up,’ who officiated during a mustering tour, being provided in this instance with a small hut.
[US]D. Runyon ‘A Tale of Two Fists’ III in Morn. News (Wilmington, DE) 18 Apr. 13/1: I was a little curious to see how prosperity had affected a former knight of the brakebeams.
[Aus]Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld) 22 Nov. 4s/3: The jockey [...] camped on the billabong with the knghts of the shear blade.
[US]O.O. McIntyre New York Day by Day 29 Dec. [synd. col.] It costs a fortune to gild the menials. There is a district given over to pluming Knights of the Tip [i.e. elevator operators, bellboys, doormen etc.].
[UK]C.G. Gordon Crooks of the Und. 138: By ‘barber,’ I do not mean a knight of the razor.
[Aus]I.L. Idriess One Wet Season 11: There came the rattle of plates and eating tools; a noisy, cheery breakfast, the knights of the knives and forks slyly gallant to the Vision and her buxom offsider.

In phrases

...the awl

a cobbler.

Tyne Mercury 17 Sept. 2/5: Three journeymen bootmakers were conviSed of a combination [...] if the masters had acceded to the wishes of these knights of the awl, eight-ninths of their business would have had to been sacrificed.
[UK]Westmorland Gaz. 17 June 2/5: These were men of all grades, from the knights of the awl, thimble, and shuttle, up to the great Champion himself.
[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) Sept. 8 n.p.: A boot cramper, and Knight of the Awl, whose magnificent cobbler’s stall stands near the Fifth Ward Hotel.
[Scot]Fife Herald 8 Dec. 3/3: The temporary loss of the white hat of the knight of the awl.
[US]Wkly Rake (NY) 30 July n.p.: wants to knowWhat Mr F.— , the ‘Knight of the awl, needle and waxed thread [...] means by not paying men that he employs.
[UK]Essex Standard 16 Feb. 2/6: A gallant knight of the awl [...] wooed and won a buxom widow.
[Scot]John o’ Groat Jrnl 18 Aug. 2/8: In 1852 it was ‘Johnie lad,’ as out knight of the awl called him.
[UK]N. Devon Jrnl 9 Feb. 8/6: That well-known knight of the awl, William Y. Berry.
[UK]Western Times 24 Mar. 8/4: A certain ‘knight of the awl’ a day or two ago received a letter containing an offer.
...the birch (n.)

a schoolteacher.

[UK]Exeter Flying Post 7 Jan. 4/4: A comely-looking wench, with [...] such pretty pouting rose-coloured lips that we do not wonder [...] they inspired the soul of the aged knight of the birch.
...the black jug

a heavy drinker.

[UK]R. Fletcher ‘The London Lady’ Epigrams and Poems 191: The Citty Usher [...] dubs them bach’lor Knight of the black Jugg.
...the blade

see separate entry.

In compounds

...of the blue pencil (n.)

1. a censor.

[Aus]Dly Teleg. (Launceston, Tas.) 10 Feb. 6/2: [E]ven this -puissant knight of the blue pencil does not aIways succeed in punching all the unconscious humor out of their communications.
[Scot]Dundee Eve. Post 30 May 6/2: ‘Knight of the Blue Pencil’. The Duties of the Press Censor.
[UK]Cheltenham Chron. 11 Dec. 3/3: But soft, behold where the knight of the blue pencil stalks! [...] but perhaps at this time of general electioneering I may be forgiven mild flutter the game at which everybody is, in the parlance, ‘having a pennorth’.
[UK]Yorks. Post 1 Apr. 8/6: ‘We are back at the Leeds Star Chamber. No. 1, Park Row. where the knight of the blue pencil sits in solitary state and crosses out and puts in’.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 20 Dec. 11/4: ‘Interview?’ said Mr. M. L. Moss. ‘Oh! yes — if the censor pleases [...] There is no division, but a united Empire, and we shall win. There! do you think that will pass the Knight of the Blue Pencil?
[UK]Milngavie & Bearsden Herald 1 Apr. 1/3: [A]ll the emanations of his diseased and wandering brain are read by a bored but peace-loving knight of the blue pencil .
[UK]Manchester Eve. News 29 Nov. 2/4: The ways of the Knights of the Blue Pencil often baffle editors, so they must completely mystify readers.

2. (Aus.) a newspaper sub-editor.

[Aus]Kalgoorlie Miner (WA) 12 Nov. 2/2: It is impossible for me to give you a detailed description [...] because if I did the knight of the blue pencil would be sure to line it out.
[Aus]Mercury (Hobart, Tas.) 28 Apr. 11/9: This is where the art of the true Knight of the Blue Pencil comes in. He it is who, by a process of judicious selection and pruning, accomplishes such seemingly impossible tasks as ‘getting a quart into a pint pot’.
[Aus]W. Australian (Perth) 10 Aug. 6/8: ‘Do you think, sir,’ asked the visitor, ‘there's a chance of that poem I sent in on the silver jubilee getting in your paper sooner or later?’ ‘There may be, later,’ barked the knight of the blue pencil.

3. (Aus.) a film editor.

[Aus]Mercury (Hobart, Tas.) 25 Feb. 16/3: The experienced knights of the blue pencil [...] saved an hour and a half by disembowelling the play.
...the brogan [brogan n.]

(US) a tramp.

[US]C.F. Lummis letter 5 Nov. in Byrkit Letters from the Southwest (1989) 68: You never saw such a country as this for tramps. I have met or overtaken more of these knights of the brogan [...] between here and Denver than in all the rest of my trip.
...the brush (and shovel)

1. a chimney sweep.

[UK]Sporting Mag. Mar. XIII 356/1: They beheld the knight of the brush in his sable robes.
[UK]Eve. Mail (London) 9 Apr. 3/3: A chimney sweeper’s boy got into a butter-basket [...] and fell asleep [...] Two thieves passing along shortly afterwards, and conceiving the basket filled with butter or eggs, carried it away [...] to divide the spoil, when lo! instead of rich booty, out sprang the young knight of the brush.
Wrocs. Jrnl 1 Mar. 4/4: The owner of the house, [...] rushed forth, and wresting an oaken cudgel from the poor sweep’s hand, belaboured him unmercifully, that the discomfited knight of the brush and shovel was fain seek safety in flight.
[UK]Morn. Post (London) 4 Sept. 3/5: A dingy knight of the brush grinning at her sorrows.
[UK]Stamford Mercury 20 Oct. 3/4: A well-known knight of the brush [...] took an airing on Sunday last in an open carriage [...] his manners offended the rustics.
[UK]Morn. Post (London) 1 Feb. 8/1: The worthy knight of the soot-brush arrived late.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 9 Mar. 1/2: Chimney-Sweeper and Thieves [...] Turning round suddenly, they beheld the knight of the brush.
[UK]Morn. Chron. (London) 30 Mar. 8/4: Shaw, a knight of the brush, who appeared in his working clothes, about as black and as sootty as if he had just descended from a ‘foul flue’.
[UK]Sheffield Indep. 8 July 3/4: A group [...] got hold of a luckless chimney-sweep who had proved obnoxious to them, and they made him suffer. One of the miners drew him into a fight [...] but the knight of the brush was nowhere, and had to give in to his brawny antagonist.
[UK]Leics. Chron. 23 Sept. 7: As the chimney sweeping fraternity do not [...] usually attain to a very high standard of integrity, it is worthy of note that a purse containing 55., picked up in the street a few days ago by a sable knight of the brush [etc].
[UK]Whitstable Times 23 Jan. 6/5: A milkman met the local sweep [and] asked him him when he had a good wash last, to which the knight of the brush immediately replied [etc.].

2. an artist, a (house) painter.

[UK]Morn. Chron. 1 July 3/2: We hear of a character that proposes to cover himself all over with stars, crosses and ribands, as a Knight of the Brush.
[UK]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 18 Sept. 270/1: A deputy ‘Knight of the Brush,’ [...] immediately furnished the lady with a fresh object of attack.
[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) Sept. 8 n.p.: This knight of the brush [...] now has been made town bull.
[UK]Hereford Times 6 Oct. 3/6: A full-grown love-sick painter’s apprentice was brought before the Magistrates [but] even their authority could not restrain the amorous propensity of this ‘knight of the brush’.
[UK]Preston Chron. 8 Apr. 5/2: A worthy bumpkin [...] fell into the hands of some mischievous knights of the brush.
[US]Wkly Varieties (Boston, MA) 3 Sept. 5/3: The knights of the brush kept their colors in a certain domestic utensil.
[UK]Huddersfield Chron. 14 May 4/6: ‘Just do any good thing that you can think of. You are a painter.’ [...] ‘I’ll do it,’ said the knight of the brush.
[UK]Aberdeen Eve. News 1 Nov. 4/2: An artist is not morally above pillaging the hoard of a brother knight of the brush.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[Scot]Edinburgh Eve. News 14 Jan. 2/6: ‘A Knight of the Brush’ writes [etc.].
...the brush and moon [? SE brush that was once used as the sign of a tavern; or a real or generic public house name]

a drunkard.

[UK]H.T. Potter New Dict. Cant (1795) n.p.: knight of the brush and moon idle drunken fellows.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Flash Dict.
[UK]Sussex Advertiser 14 Apr. 4/3: Pitmen, colliers, bog-trotters, black-legs, ken-cadgers with their king’s motts, knights of the road, and also a few knights of the brush and moon.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]Duncombe New and Improved Flash Dict.
...the cleaver (and steel)

a butcher.

[UK]Sporting Mag. May IV 70/1: A man, whose appearance bespoke him a knight of the cleaver [...] brandishing the terrible instrument of his trade.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Nov. XIX 97/1: Two near neighbours [...] the one a Knight of the Shears, and the other of the Cleaver.
[UK]Egan Life in London (1869) 193: The Whitechapel Knight of the Cleaver and his fat ‘Rib’.
[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) Aug. 31 n.p.: We tanned the Hide of a Butcher last week, and now we want to find out whether some Knight of the Cleaver [...] is not particular in charging .
[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 29 Sept. Sept. 42/2: ‘The mother of Lord Seagrave was the daughter of a knight of the cleaver, which, in the vulgar tongue, is yclept a butcher’.
[UK]Western Times 4 Jan. 3/6: Master Lodger, an assistant of one of the knights of the cleaver of this city, undertook, for a trifling bet, to eat [...] a small pig stuffed and baked.
[US]D. Corcoran Picking from N.O. Picayune 73: He is [...] a knight of the cleaver, or butcher.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 20 Nov. 2/2: Her incontinence had frequently led her into amorous dalliance with a seductive knight of the cleaver.
[UK]Leeds intelligencer 21 Aug. 10/1: One of our [...] townsmen went into the shop of a ‘knight of the cleaver’ in order to purchase half a leg of veal.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 4 Sept. 5/4: One of the racers is known as a knight of the cleaver and steel.
[UK]Derbyshire Times 8 Apr. 8/4: The conflict was between two worthy sons of the arts and sciences — one being aknight of the cleaver and steel, the other a man of colour.
[UK]Western Gaz. 4 Jan. 6/2: A donkey match between a well-known ex-steeple chase gentleman rider’s ‘Fly Away’ and a celebrated knight of the cleaver’s ‘Jemmy’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 24 Jan. 13/2: Before commencing proceedings, a certain retired knight of the cleaver, who rejoices in the appellation of old Gift, made a very pertinent inquiry as to who was the coming man, and was he going to wet it.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]Cornishman 12 Oct. 4/6: A big brown retriever smelt the toothsome meat, and, when the knight of cleaver was busy serving, he walked off with it.
[UK]Western Times 5 May 4/6: The announcement [was] that Mr George Bullen, a local butcher, would enter the lion’s cage. ‘Will he have sufficient pluck to do it?’ [...] but the daring knight of the cleaver soon put all doubts about the matter at rest.
[Aus]Laverton Mercury (WA) 31 Oct. 3/7: Other considerable bits which are placed at the extreme outward edge of the slab the knight-of-the-cleaver calls ‘dog-tempters,’ because they are put in such a place as to admit of the shopman getting a good aim at any marauding animal.
[UK]Western Times 12 July 7/3: ‘But even now,’ interposed a knight of cleaver, ‘farmers are making good prices’.
...the collar

one who has been hanged.

[UK]Interlude of Youth in Dodsley II (1874) 15: God’s fate! thou didst enough there / For to be made knight of the collar.
...the cross

(UK Und.) a professional criminal; a cheating gambler who fixes sports.

[UK]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 30 Oct. 317/1: [T]hese Knights of the Cross, who, by offering a premium to dishonesty, for their own sinister purposes , had destroyed the character of the Ring.
[UK]Lytton Paul Clifford I 208: Gentleman George was a person of majestic dignity among the Knights of the Cross.
...the cue

a billiard-player; a billiard marker.

[UK]Sporting Mag. Mar. I 367/2: The Heir Apparent of an Irish Marquis [...] lost 11,000 guineas, two or three nights since, at W—’s billiard table to a gentleman who proved himself to be a good calculator as well as able player! – The poor Knight of the Cue, and even the markers [...] contrived to pick up a few gleanings on this golden occasion.
[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) 26 June 4/2: A certain knotty-headed knight of the cue.
[UK]Morn. Chron. 27 Aug. 1/6: Most of the aristocratic ‘Knights of the Cue’ who remain in town congregate round the table every night.
[UK]Belfast News Ltr 1 Sept. 4/2: james O’Hare, described as a ‘Knight of the Cue’ and Steward Morrow, a waiter, were charged with having been disorderly.
[UK]York Herald 24 Jan. 20/5: These well-known ‘knights of the cue’ were matched to contest 10,000 points up (all in) on even terms.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues IV 120/2: Knight of the cue – a billiard-marker.
[UK]Cornishman 6 June 2/4: [The] knights of the cue pay to keep their [...] tables in such order as will help the game.
Illus. Sporting & Dramatic News (London) 3 Nov. 30/1: That's just what I'm trying to avoid, explained the knight of the cue, I don’t want to cut the bally cloth.
...the elbow

a card-sharp, a cheating gambler.

[UK]Rochester ‘A Ramble in St James’s Park’ in Works (1999) 77: Three Knights, o’th’ Elbow, and the slurr / With wriggling Tails, made up to her.
...the forked order (also knight of the order of the fork)

1. a cuckold.

[UK]Cobbler of Canterbury (1976) 12: He had dubd him knight of the forked order.
[UK]Tinker of Turvey 16: He had dubd him knighte of the forked order.
[UK]T. Randolph Hey for Honesty V i: They’d [...] dub me a knight of the forked order.
[UK]J. Wilson Cheats V ii: Stick a bull’s feather in my cap! Make me a knight of the forked order!
[UK]R. Neve Merry Companion 146: He shall have the Honour to be dubb’d a Knight of the Forked Order, and have his Name enroll’d in the Colony of Cuckoldom.
[US]S. Judd Margaret (1851) I 189: You never heard of the Knights of the Forked Order. There is an old song,—‘Why my good father, what should you do with a wife? / Would you be crested?’.

2. one whose job involves digging with a fork.

[UK]J. Taylor ‘Great Eater of Kent’ in Hindley Works (1872) 8: Lackeys, Footmen, and Weavers, and Knights of the public or common order of the fork.
...the golden grummet [naut. jargon grummet = rope ring + gold = excrement]

(US Und.) one who enjoys anal intercourse.

[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks.
[US]G. Legman ‘Lang. of Homosexuality’ Appendix VII in Henry Sex Variants.
[US]Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 26: knight of the golden grummet (n.): Active pedication; grummet: a nautical rope-ring, thus a suggestion of the anus. (Slang.).
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 18: the man who fucks in anal intercourse, as opposed to the one who is fucked [...] knight [of the golden grummet] (rare, so called because knights had lances).
...the green cloth [the green baize of card tables]

1. (orig. US) a gambler.

[UK]Leeds Mercury 25 June 7/6: [T]ravellers in Spain, who have not [...] had their pockets eased by the adventurous Knights of the Roead in the South of the Peninsula, will still [...] succumb to the wiles of the Knights of the Green Cloth in the North.
[US]Trumble Sl. Dict. Gamblers are called knights of the green cloth, and their lieutenants, who are sent out after greenhorns, are called decoys, cappers, and steerers.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]Hants Advertiser 18 Aug. 7/7: There were ominous signs [...] and even Denver Pete, redoubtable knight of the green cloth as he was, would have done well to have heeded them.

2. a billiards or snooker player.

[UK]Sheffield Dly Teleg. 13 Oct. 12/1: As the evenings lengthen and outdoor sports are impossible to the average worker, then is heard the click of the billiard balls, and the knights of the green cloth are very busy indeed.
[UK]Western Mail 25 Feb. 4/8: Tom Carpenter, the brilliant young Cardiff knight of the green cloth, managed to retain the Welsh billiards championship.
[UK]Exeter & Plymouth Gaz. 22 Dec. 8/4: Circus World [,,,] Adami, the human billiard table, ought make many knights of the green cloth feel rather ashamed of themselves. He scores cannons his back and seems have supernatural influence over the ivories.
Bath Wkly Chron. 24 Apr. 17/1: [headline] ‘Knights of the Green Cloth’ Mayor talks to Bath Billiards league.
Wilts. Times 14 Feb. 2/7: Who were the [...] Knights of the Green Cloth who were playing in snooker game for ten minutes before discovering that the pink ball was missing?
...the halter

1. one doomed to be hanged.

[UK]Hickscorner Biii: I am come of goode kynne I tell the[e] My moder was a lady of the stewes blode borne And knyght of the halter my fader ware an horne.

2. the hangman.

[UK]Derby Mercury 1 Oct. 2/2: Mr Jack Ketch informed the Sheriffs that he could not think of acting in his official capacity any longer, unless his salary was raised [...] The Court [...] made known to the Knight of the Halter that the merits of his case should be taken into consideration.
...the hod

a bricklayer; a bricklayer’s labourer.

[UK]Morn. Chron. 2 May 3/3: He was saluted by a volley of coarse compliments, uttered by a son of Erin, dubbed a Knight of the Hod.
[UK]C.M. Westmacott Eng. Spy II 25: Young Terence, a nate little knight o’ the hod.
[Ire]Sligo Champion 11 Mar. 1/3: A snark-headed knight of the hod came forward.
[UK]Sussex Advertiser 31 Mar. 3/1: There was a charge of assault preferred by the complainant, who is a bricklayer [...] against the defendant who is also a knight of the hod.
...(the) industry [he ‘works’ his victims]

a thief or swindler.

[UK]Lancaster Gaz. 23 June 4/3: A Knight of the Order of Industry, assuming the liovery of an Irish valetudinarian [...] received the ususal douceur [...] the author of the trick merely intended to raise the wind.
[UK]Bucks. Herald 4 Mar. 6/5: There was Coroners, Lawyers, and Brewers, / [...] /A Quack Doctor and Birmingham Jew! / There were Knights of all orders and grades; / And a Knight too, of Industry.
[UK]Tamworth Herald 7 May 3/2: One of the last arrests effected was that of a young knight of industry [...] It seems that no suspicion entered into the mind of the the recipient until the man was gone.
[UK]Derby Dly Teleg. 20 Apr. 3/6: A rather ingenious system of swindling has been discovered by a Parisian knight of industry.
[UK]Gloucester Citizen 13 Apr. 4/5: A ‘knight of the industry’ who stole a cheque-book [...] was a notorious swindler and imposter.
[UK]Eve. Standard (Dundee) 25 Dec. 4/5: An actress lodged a complaint against a gorgeous knight of the industry who called himself Lord Leicester [...] The woman [...] accused the spurious nobleman of having stolen from her a pair of earrings.
...the Iron Chain

a prisoner in irons who is being transported.

[Aus]J.F. Mortlock Experiences of a Convict (1965) 52: We were Knights of the Iron Chain, all new arrivals being at once formally invested at the anvil by the high armourer, with a handsome though rusty set of irons, [...] to be worn on the right leg.
...the jemmy (also knight of the jimmy)

(UK/US Und.) a burglar.

[UK]Sheffield Indep. 1 June 8/1: His outfit showed him to be a professional knight of the jemmy.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 12 Oct. n.p.: It is rather a difficult matter to determine whether ‘coppers’ have conscientious scruples [...] to pounce upon robust and heavily armed ‘knights of the jimmy’.
[UK]Graphic (London) 16 Feb. 12/3: Two plain-clothes men had slyly concealed theselves in a doorway of a jeweller’s shop hoping to bag some knight of the jemmy.
[UK]Morpeth Herald 25 Nov. 5/2: The ‘crib’ wherein this ‘knight of the jemmy’ has carried out his nefarious work is the Turk’s Head Hotel.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 8 Apr. 4/8: The gentlemen who follow the burgling business have apparently fallen on evil times [...] and another Knight of the Jemmy has been ‘retired’ for ten years.
[UK]Daily Tel. 8 Aug. in Ware (1909) 163/2: Some seasons ago the place was overrun by knights of the jemmy, who committed their depredations on other people’s property in the coolest manner possible.
[Scot]Aberdeen Jrnl 13 July 4/4: Between 11 and 12 o’clock on Thursday night a ‘knight of the jemmy’ was disturbed [...] by a railway employee.
[Aus]V. Marshall World of Living Dead (1969) 130: The Knight of the Jemmy and his comrade in arms, the safe blower, unperturbedly will shrug their shoulders.
[US]J. Callahan Man’s Grim Justice 6: He was a prowler, a house burglar, a knight of the jimmy and skeleton keys.
...the knife

a cutpurse.

[UK]Jonson Bartholomew Fair II iii: Is this goodly person before us here, this ‘vapours’, a knight of the knife?
...the lapstone

a cobbler.

[UK]Berks. Chron. 14 June 3/3: John Gibbs [...] knight of the lapstone [had] a charge preferred against him by [...] a constable.
[UK]P. Hawker Instructions to Young Sportsmen (1844) 362: Johnny Tyrrell, our crack knight of the lapstone at Milford, has made me a pair of boots in this way.
[UK]Leeds Times 18 Mar. 3/5: The knight of the lapstone evaded their vigilance, by making his exit.
[UK]Sussex Advertiser 25 Sept. 6/6: This knight of the lapstone had become enamoured of Mrs Woodham’s cook.
[UK]Hereford Jrnl 9 Nov. 6/2: He is graciously pleased to approve the movement, but he cannot, like the knight of the lapstone, stake his aw’l upon it.
[UK]Exeter Flying Post 18 Apr. 4/1: To say nothing of the knight of the lapstone.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.

In phrases

...the mawley [mauley n. (1)]

a prize-fighter.

[UK]Observer (London) 29 Nov. 4/2: In addition to the Knights of the Mawley themselves, about five-and-twenty regular constables were on the spot.
knight of the meter (n.)

(Aus.) a taxi-driver.

[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 26 Feb. 3/4: [A] gentleman [...] and informed the ‘Bouncer’ of the establishment of his intention to collect a taxi fare, owing to a hard-working knight of the meter.
...the napkin

a waiter.

[UK]Foote Cozeners in Works (1799) II 160: The penurious pence of the lawyers won’t do for us, who are the superior knights of the napkin.
[UK]Sussex Advertiser 19 May 3/5: In a Foot-Race [...] between a Coachman and a Waiter [...] the Knight of the Napkin flew past his brother Knight of the Whip.
[UK]London Standard 19 Sept. 4/4: Says the traveller to the waiter, ‘Let us vow eternal friendship.’ ‘Be it so,’ says the knight of the napkin.
[UK]Era (London) 30 Aug. 3/3: It required no knight of the napkin to imbue us.
[UK]H. Cockton Valentine Vox 35: ‘Waiter!’ shouted Valentine [...] when the knight of the napkin [...] approached the fire.
[UK]Hants Advertiser 5 Sept. 7/6: ‘Sir,’ replied the knight of the napkin, ‘we dine at six’.
[Scot]Edinburgh Eve. News 13 Sept. 3/4: The knight of the napkin hesitated.
[US]Golden Argosy (NY) us3 308: The knight of the napkin bowed and replied: ‘Sir, we dines at six’ .
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]Coventry Eve. Teleg. 8 Aug. 2/5: As though the knight of the napkin had not enough to suffer from the ordinary customer jumping down his throat.
[UK]Manchester Courier 21 Feb. 19/2: Once again did the smirking knight of the napkin render the account.
[UK]Southern Reporter 2 Oct. 4/4: ‘A gent has ordered roast mutton.’ [...] ‘Yes, sir,’ breathed the distracted knight of the napkin.
[Scot]Aberdeen Journal 29 June 8/3: The Fascist law [in Italy] ordains that the knight of the napkin must attire himself in one way and no other.
[US]A.J. Bock [bk title] Knight of the Napkin: Memoirs of Fifty Years’ Experiences in Many Lands.
...the needle

a tailor.

[UK]Foote Trip to Calais in Works (1799) II 341: That may be the case, Master Mannikin, with those of the trade who live in the city; but I would have you to know, the knights of the needle are another sort of people at our end of the town.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Sept. VI 316/2: Four knights of the needle, (vulgarly called taylors) [...] sat down to eight pounds of salmon, to packs of pease [etc.].
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Worcester Jrnl 15 Dec. 4/1: The wife of a celebrated knight of the needle.
[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) 26 June 3/1: A certain young man, late a knight of the needle.
[UK] ‘The Wide Awake Club’ Bentley’s Misc. Feb. 209: A very worthy knight of the needle.
[Scot]Dumfries & Galloway Standard 28 Apr. 4/3: The knight of the needle had to cross his legs and ply his tiny weapon to make doublets.
[UK]Blackburn Standard 17 Aug. 3/7: An aged knight of the needle.
[UK]Wrexham Advertiser 25 June 7/5: The knight of the needle delivered them.
[Scot]Aberdeen Eve. Express 28 Feb. 2/1: The knight of the needle must have been one of those excellent persons who never prophesy unless they know.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]Wrexham Advertiser 15 July 6/2: He [...] was a knight of the needle for the last eighteen years.
[Can]R. Service ‘The Ballad of the Northern Lights’ Ballads of a Cheechako 15: A knight of the hollowed needle, pard, spewed from the sodden slum.
[Scot]Dundee Courier 12 Jan. 8/1: The knight of the needle [...] didn’t by any means give himself away.
[Scot]Aberdeen Jrnl 29 Oct. :
...the pad (also knight of the rumpad) [pad n.1 (1)]

a highwayman.

[Scot]Caledonian Mercury 4 Sept. 1/2: A Frace, inscribed to Sir J— F—, Knight of the Pad, by Bob Bagshot.
[UK]‘One of the Fancy’ Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress 76: As sweet as the brandy and tea, rather thinnish, / That Knights of the Rumpad so rurally sip.
[UK]Worcester Jrnl 31 Aug. 3/5: While he was thus [asleep] there came by a knight of the pad who had himself happy by taking the horse [...] and riding away.
[UK]Liverpool Mercury 22 Apr. 3/4: He should not put himself in the false position of a knight of the pad.
...the pen

1. a clerk.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 653/1: from ca. 1860; obs.

2. a writer.

[US]M. Fuller Writing from N. Y. Trib. 1844-6 (2000) 271: Some champion [...] might try whether the sting of Criticism was as indifferent to this knight of the pen as he professes its honey to be.
[US]Reader 22 Oct. 505/1: The best guard against any such spirit [that of only regarding books by the light of ‘will they pay’] is that the publisher should be a knight of the pen himself [F&H].
[Scot]Edinburgh Eve. News 15 Sept. 2/4: A gentleman [...] by profession a knight of the pen, had also gone amissing.
[Scot]Dundee Courier 13 May 5/2: This accomplished knight of the pen may vicariously become a knight of the sword.
[UK]Manchester Courier 17 Mar. 6/2: They welcomed Mr O’Connor as a leader amongst the knights of the pen.
...the pencil

1. a painter.

[Scot]Edinburgh Mag. Mar. 306: He is a man of truth and honour, and as well deserving of belief in what he states, as any erratic knight of the pencil that ever painted panoramas, or manufactured quartos.

2. an author, a writer.

[Ire]Dublin University Mag. Feb. 166/2: Thus writes — ay feels our enthusiastic knight of the pencil.

3. a bookmaker.

[Scot]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 20 Oct. 3/2: The knight of the pencil turned [...] and, raising his hat, said, ‘I never bet with ladies’.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 1 May 4/2: A bookmaker has been given a dinner before departing for ‘fresh fields and pastures new’; and the same knight of the pencil has been wished bon voyage by a newspaper.
[UK]Punch 7 Mar. 109: The knights of the pencil, Sir, hold that backers, like pike, are more ravenous in keen weather, and consequently easier to land [F&H].
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[Aus]N. Gould Double Event 28: Ike’s knowledge of some of the bookmakers he had met in the old land led him to believe that ‘hard-uppishness’ would scare any knight of the pencil away.
[UK]Hull Daily Mail 16 Apr. 4/6: George Percy Turf Accountant [...] ‘Sporting Life,’ April 3rd, 1900, says:— ‘Mr George Percy, a well-known knight of the pencil’.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 14 Nov. 4/3: The result of the Melbourne Cup was a veritable clean sweep for the so-called knights of the pencil.
[UK]Hull Daily Mail 23 Mar. 2/5: One well-known ‘Knight of the Pencil’ laid £500 to £400 that Gautrey would not win.

4. a reporter, a journalist.

[Scot]Dundee Courier 22 Dec. 3/6: Exclusion of Reporters. While the members were assembling a reporter ventured in [...] On Mr Ballingall appearing he thus addressed the stranger [...] ‘Leave the room.’ The meek knight of the pencil at once replied, ‘Certainly’.
[UK]Sporting Times 7 Mar. 1/3: But the knight of the pencil was wide awake, / And was not to be had by ‘kid’.
[UK]Luton Times 11 Aug. 2/3: ‘I cannot help it, my lord,’ replied the knight of the pencil. ‘My report was despatched by telegraph some hours ago’.
...the pestle [despite dates of recorded citations, sense 2 prob. came first]

1. (also knight of the burning pestle) someone with a venereal disease, a term of abuse.

[UK]Beaumont [play title] Knight of the Burning Pestle.
[UK]R. Brome Sparagus Garden II ii: The Knight of the burning pestle.
[UK]Man in the Moon 28 May - 5 June 73: Alderman Split-breech and the right doubty Mayre are to be dubb’d Knights of the burning Pestle.
[UK]E. Gayton Pleasant Notes I 6: What would the Don have said, had he known some of our British adventurers? the Knight of the spouting-pestle; or the Knight of the burning-pestle, who carried all the ladies before him.
[UK] ‘To the Knight of the burning Pestle’ Covent Garden Drollery 78: Ralph, who humbly does each Lady greet, And layes his Burning Pestle at her feet.
[UK]RochesterMy Lord All-Pride’ in Works (1999) 94: Alike abroad, at home, i’th’ Camp and Court, / This Knight o’th’ Burning Pestle makes us sport.

2. an apothecary, esp. one who prescribes for venereal diseases.

[UK] ‘Arsy Versy’ Rump Poems and Songs (1662) II 47: Then the Knight of the Pestle, King Lambert and Vane / With a Scepter of Iron did over it reign.
[UK]Monthly Mirror 4 366: A knight of the pestle, enclosed in one of his own large blue chemical bottles.
[UK]‘Jeremy Swell, Gent.’ Tailors’ Revolt iv: We should have [...] The knights of the Pestle against the ‘doctor and apothecary’.
[UK]J. Smith Horace in London 162: If fever assail me / [...] / I’ll spurn Doctor Bailey to see / Some second rate knight of the pestle.
[US]Journal of Health (Phila.) I 18: A London knight of the pestle and mortar — a gentleman apothecary.
[UK]Belfast Morn. News 4 Dec. 4/6: The plaintiff is a chemist and druggist [...] A certain knight of the pestle and mortar having taken it into his head to maltreat his wife.
...the pigskin

a jockey.

[UK]Baily’s Mag. July 222: Here, in the old four-mile heat days, one well-known knight of the pigskin accomplished a feat which made him illustrious for ever.
[UK]Baily’s Mag. Feb. 220: ‘Got anything in your pocket?’ he demanded of the lad. ‘Nothing, sir,’ answered the young knight of the pigskin.
[UK]Fore’s Sporting Notes 3 164: ‘Well, Sir,’ continued the knight of the Pigskin, ‘why not, instead of giving me a leg up on Flying Fish, put me up for once on old Jack Sheppard, wearing your first colours of course?’.
[UK]Wallace’s Monthly 17 355: McLaughlin, the noted knight of the pigskin, is [...] getting down to one hundred and fifteen pounds.
[Aus]C. Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 42: Knight of the Pigskin, a professional jockey.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 28 Nov. 1/4: One of these knights of the pigskin declined a mount [...] at the recent V.R.C. meeting.
[UK]Northants Eve. Teleg. 22 Feb. 2/4: New peers will be created by the King [...] there is a fear in certain good people that perchance he will honour a knight of the pigskin.
[UK]Hull Daily Mail 23 Mar. 8/1: My next tip, from a Knight of the Pigskin was Earlston, a horse that you can hear coming 300 yards away.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 3 July 2nd sect. 10/4: Some months ago much amusement was caused amongst the knights of the pigskin by the drafting of a code of by-laws for their government.
[Scot]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 10 Oct. 11/5: The young lad’s name will be something to conjure with [...] if I am any judge of a knight of the pigskin.
[UK]Hull Daily Mail 22 Nov. 6/5: He had relinquished his ambition to become a ‘knight of the pigskin’ on account of increasing wieght.
...the post

see separate entry.

...powder puff

1. a hairdresser.

[UK]S. Gunning Delves, a Welch Tale (1797) II 121: I therefore called in my hair dresser, who [...] entertained me with all the politics, all the news, and all the scandal of the day, I tried to interest myself in the various anecdotes succinctly related by this knight of the powder-puff, but the attempt was vain, I grew tired of his nonsense.

2. an effeminate or homosexual male.

Romance of Violette (1970) 179: The jovial landlord at their request sent rolund the corner for young passive pederast, who was celebrated for his abnormal proportions in one direction, and the narrowness of his...ideas, in another. The young knight of the powder puff appeared rouged, with hair dyed like that of a woman.
[US]Star Press (Muncie, IN) 31 May 3/2: They call him a ‘society fighter,’ and he is the current matinee idol of the ring, but his victory over Tommy Farr has shown that he is no knight of the powder puff.
...the pyramid

a billiards or snooker player.

[UK]Mirror of Life 24 Mar. 15/2: [H]e may play a game or two of billiards with some ‘knights of the pyramid’.
...the quill

an author.

Gentlemen’s Jrnl Mar. 2: I know some of your sturdy, stuff, nights of the quill [F&H].
[UK]Gentleman’s Mag. Feb. 120/1: Some vexatious wrangler, some pragmatical knight of the quill, who [...] right or wrong, maintains his hypothesis with inflexible zeal .
[UK]Bury & Norwich Post 4 Aug. 2/2: Duel. — In consequence of the dispute between [...] a journeymman printer and a hackney writer [...] the knight of the quill [...] directed his second [...] to load both pistols.
[UK]Morn. Post (London) 1 Aug. 2/3: The knight of the quill declared his objection to fight like a blackguard.
[US]Spirit of the Times (NY) 14 Apr. 1/1: This caption [...] has either been introduced by some preparatory remarks by the ‘knights of the quill’ [etc].
[UK]Leeds Times 17 Feb. 5/4: The knight of the quill was much elated, boasting in high-sounding words.
[UK]Bath Chron. 9 Sept. 4/5: A gallant New England knight of the quill.
[Scot]Falkirk Herald 11 Sept. 3/2: The profession must be looking up, when a knight of the quill can dare to assert his nationality in this fashion.
[UK]Western Gaz. 7 Nov. 3/5: One is an old Californian digger, the other a knight of the quill.
[UK]Sunderland Daily Echo 16 June 3/4: A young knight of the quill [...] has been paying his addresses to a fair damsel at Darlington.
[UK]Shields Daily Gaz. 12 May 4/3: A certain young ‘knight of the quill’ [...] in the possession of a wife and several children.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 23 Oct. 14/1: The ‘Major’ is once more a knight of the quill.
[UK]Daily Gaz. for Middlesborough 26 Oct. 4/2: The knight of the quill immediately shut himself in.
[UK]Exeter & Plymouth Gaz. 13 Nov. 3/3: The outrage to their feelings was not completed by the knight of the quill.
[UK]Newcastle Jrnl 15 Oct. 8/1: ‘Have you seen any of our officers here this morning?’ asked a lordly knight of the quill.
[UK]Cheltenham Chron. 26 Mar. 2/1: He has not sat continually there so long as that redoubtable knight of the quill, ‘Tay Pay’.
...the rainbow [the colours of the uniform, which would represent those of the person served]

a footman, a waiter.

[UK]Leeds Intelligencer 21 Dec. 1/3: [The Peace Officers] so carried them off, to the great Joy of the Knights of the Rainbow there present.
[UK]Political Register Nov. 262: There runs so strict a parallel between a thorough-paced courtier and a knight of the rainbow [...] only indeed there is so much lying and cringing in the courtier, that a footman hardly ever reaches politeness enough to shine in such noble drudgery.
[US]Town & Country Mag. Jan. 7/1: He was compelled to hire himself as a livery servant to his footman, and now in turn rode behind his former valet’s chariot. This knight of the rainbow had a little more prudence than his late master.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: knight of the rainbow a footman, from the variety of colours in their liveries and trimming, of gentlemen of that cloth.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Rainbow. Knight of the Rainbowe [sic] a Footman from being Clothed in Garments of different Colours.
C. Dibdin Songs I (1842) 150/1: The Knights of the Rainbow — ‘I say, my lord duke, / On hair powder a tax!’.
[UK]G. Andrewes Dict. Sl. and Cant.
[UK]Sussex Advertiser 9 Sept. 3/4: A gentleman’s servant, grotesquely accoutred, sallied forth in a field [...] his brother sportsmen [...] felt great astonishment and mortification at finding that this renowed knight of the rainbow had done more execution [...] than they could effect.
[UK]Hereford Jrnl 3 Oct. 4/3: A Knight of the Rainbow [...] took the shine out of all the coves in his master’s neighbourhood, by threatening to serve them in quick time.
[UK]G. Kent Modern Flash Dict.
[UK]Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 267: It’s scarcely wages for a ‘knight of the rainbow’ (a footman).
[UK]N. Wales Chron. 20 Jan. 6/5: John Jolly, a butler [...] Lightgo, a knight of the rainbow.
...the rattle

a watchman.

[UK]Lancaster Gaz. 4 Mar. 1/5: Grimaldi then applied to another knight of the rattle but who declined to set it going ; the enraged clown then snatched it from him, and sprung it himself, and the thief [...] was soon taken [...] and placed in the neighbouring watch-house.
...the razor

a barber.

[UK]Mirror of Life 6 Jan. : Knights of the Razor. James Rymer [...] who claims to have a record of shaving 100 faces in 48min 40 secs.
...the road

see separate entry.

...the rod

(US) an angler.

[US]Spirit of the Times (NY) 12 Jan. 2/1: We arer pleased in giving place to the following ‘knight of the rod’ [...] During the last season I was eye-witness to the takking of a ‘striped bass’ [etc].
...the satchel (n.)

(Aus.) a bookmaker.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 14 Aug. 1st sect. 1/1: Having the quadruped in his ‘bag’ he laid it at a fancy price [but] when it had its nose in front in the straight, the odds-yeller nearly fainted [...] it took a dozen doses of brandy to straighten up the knight of the satchel.
...the scissors

(Aus.) a hairdresser, a barber.

[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 24 Feb. 7/5: [...] not lead the public to think that there is such a thing as skite among the knights of the scissors.
...scissors and paste

a sub-editor.

[UK]Sportsman (London) 22 July 2/1: Notes on News [...] [A] sub-editor got [...] orders to get up article in praise of Mr Blank’s shoe-polish [...] the knight of the scissors and paste said he ‘would see Mr Blank and his blacking damned first’.
...the scissors and yard

a tailor.

[UK]Sam Sly 3 Feb. 2/2: Young ladies are advised to beware of a certain elderly young gentleman, G—e J—s G—n, a knight of the scissors and yard, of Union-street, Bath.
...the shears (also knight of the sheers, ...the goose and shears)

1. a tailor.

[UK]J. Caske Tricipitina 14: An action with 300 Pounds damage was brought, against the knight of the shears and thimble.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Knight of the sheers, a taylor.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Oct. III 8/1: The race was won by something more than a nostril, by the Cross-legg’d Knight of the Sheers!
[UK]Sporting Mag. Nov. XIX 97/1: Two near neighbours [...] the one a Knight of the Shears, and the other of the Cleaver.
[UK]Chester Chron. 1 Aug. 4/3: So much for the wisdom of twelve honest men, with a noble knight of the shears and needle for their foreman.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Knight of the shears. A tailor.
[UK] ‘Sporting Anecdotes – the Hunted Tailor’ [print] John Bishop a brisk looking knight of the thimble & shears, being tired of sitting cross-legged all the week resolved one Sunday upon having a day’s Sporting.
[US]Albany Microscope (NY) 2 June n.p.: Bogardus and Clark, knights of the thimble, goose and bodkin.
[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) Aug. 31 n.p.: Our Birds have winged their way [...] to examine the affairs of a Knight of the Goose & Shears .
[US]Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) 2 Apr. n.p.: A certain knight of the shears [etc].
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 1 Sept. 3/2: Miss Barbara Simpson, a freckled beauty, and the daughter of a knight of the shears.
[UK]Hereford Times 9 Nov. 6/5: The knight of the shears and goose [...] met a buxom young widow.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 30 Oct. 3/3: Bernard Cross, a knight of the thimble and Shears.
[UK]Birmingham Jrnl 28 Apr. 6/3: Some venerable knight of the shears in sober pursuit of his calling.
[UK]Shields Daily Gaz. 12 June 4/2: His wife [...] came to the rescue of the knight of the shears, explaining that she had taken an inch from each of the legs.
[UK]Portsmouth Eve. News 9 Mar. 2/6: The ‘knight of the shears’ [had] taken a lamp inside the waxen head of his ‘dummy’.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.

2. (Aus.) a sheep-shearer.

[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 19 Oct. 5/4: Now:that the sheep-shearers have almost got through with their fleecing operations, the wily back-block shanty-keepers are decorating their best girls and fixing up their old pianofortes in preparation for the reception of the knights of the shears.
...the spigot

a publican, an inn-keeper.

[Scot]Sir W. Scott Kenilworth (1877) 92: When an old song comes across us merry old knights of the spigot, it runs away with our discretion.
[UK]Liverpool Mercury 1 Mar. 6/2: We [...] at once recognised in it the invention of some worthy ‘knight of the spigot’.
[Scot]Stirling Observer 15 Oct. 4/3: This conscientious knight of the spigot.
[UK]Burnley Gaz. 19 Dec. 3/2: That fool Holker [...] has been made into a knight — not of the spigot and barrel as he ought to have been.
[UK]Daily Gaz. for Middlesborough 30 June 4/1: The prisoner [...] pulled the ‘knight of the spigot’s whiskers .
[UK]Burnley Express 25 Nov. 2/6: One Burnley Knight of the Spigot [...] trundled a large barrel of porter into the street.
...the standard

a racecourse bookmaker.

[UK]J. Greenwood Wilds of London (1881) 317: I heard the oldest of them exclaim, turning to a ‘knight of the standard,’ ‘I’ll take the odds against Stewpan for the Nursery Stakes.’.
...the syringe (v.)

a doctor specialising in venereal diseases.

[UK]Fifteen Real Comforts of Matrimony 94: Twere impossible else, that there should be so much work for the Surgeons and Pintle-smiths about this Town […] such swarms of Charlatans and Knights of the Syringe in every corner of the City.
...the tape

(Aus.) a tailor.

[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 10 Apr. 5/3: ‘FIFTEEN AND A-HALF,’ yelled the tailor-man. [...] ‘Oh, not you,' said the knight of the tape.
...the thimble

a tailor.

[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Globe (London) 24 Dec. 4/4: A smart, scientifc boxing match took place [...] betwixt a gallant knight of the thimble again Power, the celebrated pugilist.
[UK]Leeds Intelligencer 13 Apr. 3/4: The president [...] is a knight of the thimble, and the vice-president a son of St Crispin.
[UK] ‘Manful Exertions’ in Fancy I XVII 411: Ben. Burns, the boxer, raced seventy yards with a Knight of the Thimble, in Hyde Park [...] Snip regretted losing, only because he was on the point of being married, and wanted to cut a dash in the eyes of his dreary.
[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) 26 June 1/3: Please inform that knight of the Thimble, Mr. P.T. [etc].
‘Sporting Anecdotes – the Hunted Tailor’ [print] John Bishop a brisk looking knight of the thimble & shears, being tired of sitting cross-legged all the week resolved one Sunday upon having a day’s Sporting.
[US]D. Corcoran Pickings from N.O. Picayune 203: [heading] A Strike Among The Tailors [...] A portion at least of the ‘knights of the thimble’ in this city are determined not to be behind the age.
[UK]Paul Pry 5 Mar. 7/1: [T]he POOR Jew [...] has been the means of docking the enormous charges of this redoubted ‘knight of the thimble’.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 30 Oct. 3/3: Bernard Cross, a knight of the thimble and Shears.
[UK]Wells Jrnl 30 Jan. 6/5: A poor half-starved creature, named Emily Druce, / Was dragged by a Knight of the thimble and goose.
[UK]Bradford Observer 21 Jan. 6/1: He brandished his goose with a terrible look; As a knight of the thimble the worst he would dare.
[Scot]Eve. Teleg. 25 Dec. 3/3: A Valiant Knight of the Thimble [...] William Sansom, tailor [...] was charged with assaulting a waiter.
[Scot]Dundee Courier (Scot.) 21 June 7/5: A man, whose well-greased, old silk hat and the general cut of his clothes proclaimed him to be a knight of the thimble and shears.
[Scot]Edinburgh Eve. News 29 Nov. 2/8: The knight of the thimble proceeded to lift the sash of the kitchen window.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[Aus]C. Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 42: ‘[K]night of the thimble,’ a tailor.
[Scot]Eve. Teleg. 4 Apr. 4/4: John Slater, a knight of the thimble, [...] appeared before provost Grant.
...the trencher

a great eater.

[UK]Champion 15 Apr. 110: It is recorded of Vitellius that he had nearly 10000 dishes for supper [...] Tacitus tells us of this Knight of the Trencher, that he spent upwards of seven Millions in a few Months.
[UK]Oxford Jrnl 31 Dec. 4/1: Exploits of the Knight of the Trencher.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue ms. additions n.p.: Knight of the Trencher, a great Eater.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (2nd, 3rd edn).
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[Scot]Stirling Observer 10 June 3/1: This doughty knight of the trencher finished his fear of gluttony by washing all down with a bottle of porter.
[Scot]Dundee Courier 20 Sept. 7/2: He was a valiant knight of the trencher.
[Scot]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 4 Oct. 3/4: A Perth glover [...] equally distinguished as a knight of the trencher.
...the vapour

a smoker; also known, by the coiner John Taylor the Water Poet (c.1578–1653), as gentlemen of the whiffe, esquires of the pipe.

[UK]J. Taylor ‘Great Eater of Kent’ in Hindley Works (1872) 8: Tobacconists, Knights of the Vapour, Gentlemen of the Whiff, Esquires of the Pipe.
...the wheel

a cyclist.

[UK]Grantham Jrnl 5 Feb. 8/2: One illustrious knight of the wheel [...] displayed to public gaze his bicycle.
[Scot]Edinburgh Eve. News 27 Aug. 4/4: The knight of the wheel [...] is president of a bicycle club.
[UK]Western Times 18 June 3/6: She did a good deal of cycling, and became acquainted with a gentleman who was also a knight of the wheel.
[UK]Gloucester Jrnl 30 Mar. 7/6: Horse v. Bicycle [...] a race [...] between a modern Dick Turpin and a knight of the wheel.
[Scot]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 19 May 3/3: He will defy any ordinary knight of the wheel to negotiate the kerb without coming by a broken rib to himself or his machine.
...the whip

a coachman.

[UK]British Mercury 21 Mar. 358: The former is [...] to trot his six white coursers, for thirty miles [...] the knowing-ones pronouce in favour of the Knight of the Whip.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Oct. VII 47/2: A brisk gale will do more for the escape of lovers in distress, than the greatest exertions of the Knights of the Whip.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Mar. XXIII 352/1: A knight of the whip and the vowels.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK]‘Jon Bee’ Living Picture of London 27: To the practices and necessities of the coachmen and guard’s private trade, we owe the increasing number and fresh supply of hangers-on, whose first business has been the performing fetch-and-carry services for those knights of the whip.
[UK]Morn. Post (London) 9 Oct. 3/5: The knight of the whip drove his chaise on without paying the toll.
[UK]New Sporting Mag. (London) Dec. 29: Short stages used to be considered as infra dig. by the regular knights of the whip.
[US]D. Corcoran Pickings from N.O. Picayune 134: They were both knights of the whip [...] lashed together in the harness of friendship.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 4 Mar. 3/1: Two knights of the whip. Henry Wataford and James Line, having bowed gracefully to the Court [etc.].
[US]Life in Boston & N.Y. (Boston, MA) 28 June n.p.: Somewhere in that street, was a ‘knight of the whip’.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 21 Apr. 3/1: A Crack Coachman. A knight of the whip, named Frederick Powler was charged [etc.].
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[Scot]Fife Herald 9 Mar. 4/4: The disappearance of an amorous ‘knight of the whip’ in the reputed company of a ‘table maid’.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[Scot]Eve. Teleg. (Dundee) 30 Apr. 2/7: Another ‘knight of the whip’ was intoxicated on his cab.
[UK]Hull Daily Mail 16 Dec. 3/1: ‘I know who you are, Sir,’ said his knight of the whip.
...the willow

(Aus.) a cricketer, presumably a batsman.

[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 30 Nov. 2/1: Two old knights of the willow, [...] were blowing about the big scores they made in their youthful days.
[Aus]Riverina Recorder (Moulamein, NSW) 9 Sept. 2/5: The Euston knights of the willow are again on the war path.
...the yardstick (and scissors)

(Aus./US) a draper, a haberdasher.

[US]Amer. Farmer 11 Nov. 271/2: As to myself, who am an unlucky and dyspeptic knight of the yardstick — not being used to such acumen of sight and steadiness of nerve.
[US]Yankee Notions Oct. 290/1: The Knight of the Yardstick sold a thousand and one of those articles the wife of the smith so much coveted.
[US]N.Y. Clipper 31 Dec. 3/3: The funniest matoh of the whole day waa between two gents of the city, ‘Knights of the Yardstick and Scissors,’ whose pride had tempted them to measure their respective merits .
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Mar. 22/4: There was considerable stir among the athletic yard-measurers […] and the robust tape and calico retailers […] when it became known that a prize, roughly estimated at ten guineas, had been donated […] for the highest scorer in the inter-warehouse cricket match [...] at the drapers’ picnic. The off-chance of not only becoming suddenly wealthy, but of attaining undying fame in athletic circles, had the effect of causing an epidemic of cricket to break knights of the yard-stick.