[Ads-l] "snatch a knot in" = "hit, spank"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 26 20:55:23 UTC 2017

An earlier cite from Georgia:

Macon (Ga.), Telegraph, Apr. 15, 1941, p. 4, co. 5 [Genealogybank]
BUT if he [F.D.R.] expects ALL the people to "rally round the flag, boys"
and do it with a snap and determination he'll have to snatch a knot in the
tails of those hellions who are deliberately trying to tie up production --
and do it NOW.
--J.N. Foreman, Norman Park, Ga.

On Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 4:42 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> http://www.marketwatch.com/story/suddenly-everyone-is-
> snatching-a-knot-and-heres-why-2017-07-26
> Expressing befuddlement — and engendering it at the same time — over the
> Senate’s failure to pass, as yet, any of its several legislative efforts to
> overhaul the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Buddy Carter, a Georgia Republican,
> offered a colorful and presumably aggressive strategy during an MSNBC
> interview Wednesday: "Somebody needs to go over there to that Senate and
> snatch a knot in their ass."
> Video here:
> https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/890295376611344385
> Twitter thread discussing the expression:
> https://twitter.com/mattizcoop/status/890289306857811968
> I don't see anything in the slang dictionaries on this. It appears to be
> primarily a Southernism -- perhaps originating in Georgia and the Florida
> panhandle. The earliest cite I found is from Pensacola, Fla., and the
> second earliest is from Roy Blount Jr., who grew up in Decatur, Ga.
> ----
> Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, Dec. 25, 1978, p. 64
> "Santa pulls them aside and gives them the word he's going to snatch a
> knot in their heads if they don't behave," he says with a twinkle in his
> eye.
> https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/265357254/
> ----
> Roy Blount Jr., _One Fell Soup: Or, I'm Just a Bug on the Windshield of
> Life_, 1982 [1984], p. 71
> "But if you could find it in your heart not to saddle them with a criminal
> record, could you just let me snatch a knot in them?"
> And I would snatch a knot in them.
> I don't mean physically. I don't pound on my children.
> https://books.google.com/books?id=56w6u-oNtRMC
> ----
> Springfield (Mo.) Leader and Press, June 16, 1986, p. 11
> I am willing to concede my suggestion that those people snatch a knot in
> that child might be ill-founded.
> https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/309489104/
> ----
> Philadelphia Daily News, Sep. 28, 1987, p. 37
> If you read the piece carefully, you can feel the pain and indignation of
> a parent who would snatch a knot in her child before she would see him
> become one the vermin who sell death and misery on street corners.
> https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/186270600/
> ----

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

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