Silent “K” in “Knitting”

May 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Ever wonder why there’s a silent “K” in “knitting?”

LifeWorksPress ran an article on it that’s guaranteed to leave you more quizzical than when you began reading it. Read on, dear readers!

The Silence of the K’s
By: Don M. Winn
Many adults, or for that matter, anyone with a logical mind, say that English is a difficult language to learn.  One reason for this is its many inconsistencies and illogical rules.  For instance, there are many words that begin with the letter “K”, and yet, the “K” remains silent and appears to serve no purpose.  So… what is the reason for the silent “K”, and what is its origin?  In an attempt to answer these very questions, LifeWorksPress has recently uncovered historical records, never before seen, that shed light on this very subject.  For the benefit of our readers, these historical records have been summarized in the following story.

The Silence of the K’s
There once was a small English community, sometime between the 13th and 14th centuries AD, called Knox.  On a wooded knoll in the land of Knox lived a quick-witted Knight named K.  K was no ordinary Knight.  Unlike other Knights, K had a knack for knitting and became well known in the land for his knitting knowledge in addition to his quick wit.  The Queen of Knox heard of the Knight’s knitting knack and invited him to the castle for knackwurst and to see how much he really knew about knitting.

Thrilled with the invitation, the Knight put on his nicest knickers, packed his knapsack with his best knitting and a few knickknacks for the queen, and began his journey through the knotted woods to the castle.  Along the way, a young knock-kneed knave, brandishing a knife and brass knuckles, ambushed the Knight, demanding the knapsack.   With his knickers now in a twist, the Knight quickly knocked the young knave to his knees and then pulled out a knotted knitted knout and gave him a good flogging.  The Knight then warned the young knave that the next time would be the death knell for him if he didn’t change his ways.  Feeling like a knucklehead, the young knave took the Knight’s advice and acquired honest work kneading bread in the local bakery.

Arriving at the castle, the Knight was impressed by the massive knurled doors, a large gold knob, and a nifty brass knuckle shaped knocker.  Already tasting the knackwurst, the Knight knuckled down and began knocking immediately.  Upon entering the Queen’s chambers, the Knight kneeled, regaled the Queen with his wit, and then ate a hefty serving of knackwurst.  After eating his fill, the queen then asked, “So… are you the Knight with the knack for knitting?” The Knight replied “Why… yes, I am, Your Majesty.” To which the Queen said, “Then please, show me your knitting.”  Kneeling on his nicest knickers the Knight emptied his knapsack, presented the queen with a few knickknacks, and then proceeded to share with the Queen his knowledge of knitting.  The Queen was so impressed with the Knights knitting knowledge and quick wit, that she proclaimed K to be “the greatest Knit-Wit Knight in all the land of Knox.”  And in turn, declared that the name K should remain silent whenever used in the common language.  Obviously, this left K the Knight… Speechless!  Of course, the Queen of Knox gave the new proclamations plenty of time to gel.

Thus today, thanks to one Knight’s knack for knitting, we still experience the vestiges of the silent “K”.

© Virka Mera


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