kneck and kneck

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Sep 3 03:24:46 UTC 2007

At 11:23 PM -0400 9/2/07, sagehen wrote:
>  >>  It's a funny expression for human runners anyway.  Must come from horse
>>>racing. " Toe & toe"  or "chest & chest" would be more appropriate to the
>>>posture of  human racing.
>>Yup, that is odd now that you mention it.
>>>There's something about that initial k in /kneck/ that (to my mind) insists
>>>on being voiced. Anyone else?
>>Voiced as in /gnEk/?  Or voiced as in pronounced, i.e. /knEk/?  I've
>>heard "knock" jocularly pronounced /knak/ as in "knock knock jokes",
>>but never having even seen "kneck" before tonight, I have no idea how
>>I might hear it.
>  ~~~~~~~~~
>Yes, /knEk/, and that comedy routine with the /knak knak/ jokes is
>definitely rattling around in there  & probably contributes to it.
I don't know if we're just thinking of the guy who does them on
Prairie Home Companion's annual joke shows, or there's a more ancient
tradition he's calling on...


The American Dialect Society -

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