[Ads-l] Another rare oldie

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Nov 29 01:31:56 UTC 2015

> On Nov 28, 2015, at 6:21 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> polish knob: "perform fellatio." Not in HDAS?

Au contraire, if I may beat (as it were) JL to the punch.  Under "knob" (well, it couldn't very well be under "polish" for reasons known only to Random House) we find:

KNOB 'the penis, in phr. POLISH [or (rarely) SLOB] a KNOB', 'to perform masturbation or (now usu.) fellatio, usually considered [clutch one's pearls] vulgar.

(I added a parenthetical above.)

There's a cite for (prostitutes) tickling the knobs (of their customers) from 1660-3.  We have to wait three centuries for the first clear cite for the now-usual meaning (1964:  "How much woul'ja charge t'polish a knob real quick, without bitin'?"   [That last prepositional phrase disambiguates pretty clearly.]


> UD: "There aren't any definitions for _polish knob_ yet."
> I've heard this in the wild only once, in Bop City, a black GI bar - as may
> be surmised. such names indicated the clientele to/for whom/which the joint
> catered: Alhambra, Black & Tan, Harlem Club et sim. -  in Heilbronn,
> Germany, in 1961.
> There were also joints with neutral names - the Star Club, the West End
> Club - and even joints with ordinary German names: Zum Goldenen Hirsche,
> Zum Weissem Roessle.
> Google: 20,100 raw hits (some speakers have re-analyzed the phrase as
> meaning "perform masturbation," and there are references to the Polish
> _glans penis_; hence, youneverknow):
> Polish Knob Porn Videos | Pornhub.com
> www.pornhub.com/video/search?search=polish+knob
> --
> -Wilson
> -----
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> -Mark Twain
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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