Derived from earlier kneipen, from Middle Low German knīpen. The form with -f- is an artificial adaptation to the High German consonant system, which may have originated in northern dialects of Central German. The form kneipen was predominant well into the 19th century and only came out of use by the mid-20th century.
- (transitive or intransitive) to pinch, to squeeze
- (intransitive) to chicken out; to back out; to shirk
- vor etwas kneifen — “to shirk something”
- kneifen in Duden online