Knackered - Vocabulary Activator

Vocabulary | Listenings


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Just as Eskimos have many words for snow, apparently, so, too, do the British, wearied by overwork, have many words for being tired such as drained, exhausted, fatigued, knackered, spent, tired out and worn out. This lesson will help you to learn, remember, and use these words without becoming exhausted in the process.

From The OED on CD-ROM

knacker, n.3 (ˈnækə(r)) 

[Origin obscure. In sense 1, the knacker may orig. have made only the knacks or smaller articles belonging to harness, and hence have taken his name; but this is doubtful, as is also the connexion of sense 2.] 

2. a.2.a One whose trade it is to buy worn out, diseased, or useless horses, and slaughter them for their hides and hoofs, and for making dog's-meat, etc.; a horse-slaughterer. knacker's yard: Also transf. and fig. 

   1812 Sporting Mag. XXXIX. 209 He was a knacker [note, A purchaser of worn-up horses].    1824 Monthly Mag. LVII. 109 The nackers' and catgut-makers' yards.    1875 Helps Soc. Press. ii. 9 Four or five hundred horses are carried to the knacker's yard each week in London.    1961 F. H. Burgess Dict. Sailing 128 Knacker's yard, the shipbreaker's yard.    1966 ‘L. Lane’ ABZ of Scouse 59 Knacker's yard: said of a place that looks a complete mess.    1967 T. Gunn Touch 42 The graveyard is the sea.‥ They have all come who sought distinction hard To this universal knacker's yard.

b.2.b One who buys old houses, ships, etc., for the sake of their materials, or what can be made of them. 

   1890 Times 23 Aug. 4/6 Worm-eaten hulks‥sent by ship knackers to find freight or a grave in the North Atlantic.    1899 Daily News 2 Feb. 3/1 The old house knacker was bad enough,‥but he was innocence itself, compared with the new house knacker that has risen up.    Ibid. 12 June 8/4 Lovers of old London have been grieved by the news that No. 47, Leicester-square‥where the painter [Reynolds] lived and worked‥was to be made over to the house⁓knackers.

3.3 transf. An old worn-out horse. dial. 

   1864 Mayhew German Life I. 127 Such spavined knackers.    1867 Ouida Under Two Flags (1890) 122 The famous English horse was dead beat as any used-up knacker.

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