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See also: Knacker and knäcker



From Old Norse hnak (saddle) (whence Icelandic hnakkur (saddle)), hur (horse) — the profession of saddlemaker.



knacker (plural knackers)

  1. One who makes knickknacks, toys, etc.
    • 1707, J[ohn] Mortimer, The Whole Art of Husbandry; or, The Way of Managing and Improving of Land. [], 2nd edition, London: [] J[ohn] H[umphreys] for H[enry] Mortlock [], and J[onathan] Robinson [], published 1708, OCLC 13320837:
      Plow-wright , Cart-wright, Knacker and Smith
  2. One of two or more pieces of bone or wood held loosely between the fingers, and struck together by moving the hand; a clapper.
  3. A harness maker.
  4. One who slaughters and (especially) renders worn-out livestock (especially horses) and sells their flesh, bones and hides.
  5. One who dismantles old ships, houses, etc. and sells their components.
  6. (Ireland, Britain, offensive) A member of the Travelling Community; a Gypsy.
  7. (Ireland, offensive, slang) A person of lower social class; a chav, skanger or scobe.
  8. (UK, slang, chiefly in the plural) A testicle.
    • 2013, Perry Gamsby, Never Be Unsaid (page 136)
      He looked like someone had put a 9mm full metal jacket round through his left scrotum. He even had his mouth open in some parody of a soundless scream, much as I imagined I would do if someone shot my left knacker off.
  9. An old, worn-out horse.
    • 2014, K. Bannerman, Mark of the Magpie (page 170)
      Believe me, you can get an old knacker for cheap at the glue yard, but it won't carry you as far as a thoroughbred!
  10. (UK, dialect, obsolete) A collier's horse.

Derived terms[edit]


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knacker (third-person singular simple present knackers, present participle knackering, simple past and past participle knackered)

  1. (British slang) To tire out, exhaust.
    Carrying that giant statue up those stairs knackered me out
  2. (British slang) To reprimand.
    Digital giants Dstv and Vision Group’s Bukedde Television didn’t go untouched with the former lashed for laxities in re-connection especially in cases where a subscriber renewed their subscription by Mobile Money, while the latter got knackered for promoting witchcraft and witch doctors. ( )