[Ads-l] to kneecap

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Thu Jun 7 15:36:36 EDT 2018

Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kneecap <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kneecap>), Dictionary.com <http://dictionary.com/> (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/kneecap?s=ts <http://www.dictionary.com/browse/kneecap?s=ts>) and the English OLD (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/kneecap <https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/kneecap>) all have kneecap as a verb meaning to injure the kneecap. Both Dictionary.com <http://dictionary.com/> and the OLD insist this is by shooting.

Ironically, the only examples on the Dictionary.com <http://dictionary.com/> page of the verb are illustrations of a different meaning:

At the same time, Tea Partyers are fending off Republican attempts to “kneecap” the movement as a whole, says Carender.
(With Incumbents To Protect, The Tea Party Is Now Playing Defense <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/20/with-incumbents-to-protect-the-tea-party-is-now-playing-defense.html?source=dictionary>)

You cannot kneecap a statistic, though you can sometimes make it limp.
(How Long, How Long Did We Sing that Song? <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/06/16/colum-mccann-on-bloody-sunday-and-bloomsday.html?source=dictionary>)

The internet is, of course, filled with examples of the verb “kneecap” having a figurative meaning.

https://ipolitics.ca/2018/06/07/morning-brief-ontario-votes-and-republicans-revolt/ <https://ipolitics.ca/2018/06/07/morning-brief-ontario-votes-and-republicans-revolt/>
Speaker Paul Ryan also kneecapped Trump on his assertions that he could pardon himself in the event he is criminally charged as part of the Mueller investigation. 

https://www.roadsbridges.com/lot-fuss-over-injury <https://www.roadsbridges.com/lot-fuss-over-injury>
It is not an easy task when funding has been kneecapped.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44356733 <https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44356733>
I knew nothing. I was kneecapped on Friday morning

Benjamin Barrett
Formerly of Seattle, WA
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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