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From knob +‎ stick.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈnɒbstɪk/
  • (file)


knobstick (plural knobsticks)

  1. A stick with a rounded knob at the end.
    • 1856, Richard F. Burton, First Footsteps in East Africa, Könemann 2000, page 53:
      The “Budd”, or Somali club, resembles the Kafir “Tonga”. It is a knobstick, about a cubit long, made of some hard wood: the head is rounded on the inside, and the outside is cut to an edge.
  2. (slang) One who refuses to join, or withdraws from, a trade union.
    • 1855, Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South, Chapter 38,[1]
      ‘Don’t you see what you would be? You’d be a knobstick. You'd be taking less wages than the other labourers—all for the sake of another man’s children. Think how you’d abuse any poor fellow who was willing to take what he could get to keep his own children. You and your Union would soon be down upon him []
    • 2009, Aaron Brenner, Benjamin Day, Immanuel Ness, The encyclopedia of strikes in American history (page 324)
      The mill agents, it was rumored, supplied the knobsticks with beer and whiskey, fearing to let them walk the streets.


  • (non-unionist): abaa