Online Encyclopedia

KNAVE (O.E. cnafa, cognate with Ger. ...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 849 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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KNAVE (O.E. cnafa, cognate with Ger. Knabe, boy), originally a male child, a boy (Chaucer, Canterbury Tales: " Clerk's Tale," 1. 388). Like Lat. Auer, the word was early used as a name for any boy-or lad employed as a servant, and so of male servants in general (Chaucer: " Pardoner's Tale," 1. 204). The current use of the word for a man who is dishonest and crafty, a rogue, was however an early usage, and is found in Layamon (c. 1205). In playing-cards the lowest court card of each suit, the " jack," representing a medieval servant, is called the " knave." (See also VALET.)
End of Article: KNAVE (O.E. cnafa, cognate with Ger. Knabe, boy)
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