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

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 26 22:32:15 UTC 2017

Now blogged on Strong Language...


On Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 4:55 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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-snatch
>> ing-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/
>> ----

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