Date: Wed, 26 Oct 1994 11:23:38 EDT From: Wayne Glowka Subject: Re: P.S. re Offending Idioms >2. My college roommate, who grew up in Tennessee, had a childhood pal > who: > > "attached a 'nigger knob' to his bicycle handlebar". > > Referring to the little hand knob that some people attach to their > car steering wheel. Here, I think, there is a connotation of > stupidity. In San Antonio, TX, in the late 1960s, we called this old-fashioned steering wheel attachment a _necker knob_. Older guys (who were perpetually seventeen since the mid to late 1950s) with pointed shoes and hair greased into ducktails had necker knobs on old fixed-up Fords and Chevies. We may have had a euphemistic mispronunciation of the term, but I always figured that a necker knob allowed the driver to steer with one hand and then neck with his girlfriend with the other. I suggest that either way the connotation of the term has to do with laziness (although I have often thought that having one of those things would be a bit of cleverness). Wayne Glowka Professor of English Director of Research and Graduate Student Services Georgia College Milledgeville, GA 31061 912-453-4222 wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]