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Knight

means simply a boy. (Saxon, cniht.) As boys (like the Latin puer and French garcon) were used as servants, so cniht came to mean a servant. Those who served the feudal kings bore arms, and persons admitted to this privilege were the king's knights; as this distinction was limited to men of family, the word became a title of honour next to the nobility. In modern Latin, a knight is termed auratus (golden), from the gilt spurs which he used to wear.

Last of the knights.
Maximilian I. of Germany (1459, 1493-1519).

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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