[Ads-l] to kneecap

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Jun 7 23:45:45 EDT 2018

Since Jon hasn’t jumped in, I’ll mention that HDAS’s _kneecap_ entry does include an “also used fig.” note, consistent with entries like those below, or this one from the HDAS entry:

1990 New Yorker. In March House majority leader Dick Gephardt got kneecapped by the White House for suggesting [economic aid to Russia].


> On Jun 7, 2018, at 3:36 PM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 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

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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