fartknocker

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fartknocker

Post by trolley » Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:30 pm

Reading the “come a cropper” posts, I was reminded of another term that (I thought) had the same definition. I had heard that “fartknocker” meant a headlong fall from a horse. It made sense to me. It was easy to imagine. It was, apparently, British slang. I can’t seem to find that definition, anywhere. I get lots of Google hits for the word, but most of them seem to be screen names or definitions that range from gay man to an affectionate term for a naughty and mischievous person, or a generic insult coined by the cartoon characters, Beavis and Butthead. Does anyone else know this word as a hard fall, or am I just dreaming?
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Re: fartknocker

Post by Bobinwales » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:19 am

Never heard of it.
In any context whatsoever.
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: FARTKNOCKER

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:51 am

The Cassell Dictionary of Slang says:

[20C] (US) 1 an obscure person. 2 a braggart. 3 one who does not know what they are talking about. [FART n. + Standard English knocker, i.e. one who knocks or makes farts]

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For what it's worth, I'd never previously encountered it either.
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Re: fartknocker

Post by PhilHunt » Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:18 am

Ha Ha Ha...Cassell's dictionary of slang definition needs a bit of updating.

Fart-knocker was used a lot in my early teens, probably through the influence of Beavis and Butthead. It has the same meaning as 'poo-pusher', 'chocolate speed champ' and 'cock-knocker' [all terms I remember circulating the early teen idiot camp]....they are all slang and derogatory terms for a homosexual, or, to be more precise, they are insults levelled at someone in the same way that teens use the term 'queer' or 'gay' to mean stupid.

:) seeing that again has bought a smile to my face as it's such a ridiculous piece of childish imagery.
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Re: fartknocker

Post by zmjezhd » Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:47 pm

The DARE has two meanings for fartknocker: "1. See quot. 1968 Adams Western Words 109, fartknocker — What the cowboy calls any kind of hard fall, especially when thrown from a horse. 2. See quot. 1984 Weaver TX Crude 44, fartknocker. Any obscure person. Equates to whatsisname." (Link.) The third meaning offered above (presumably from the '90s) seems to have been a new coinage of a compound. (Recorded FWIW in the Urban Dictionary link.)
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Re: fartknocker

Post by Bobinwales » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:39 pm

No wonder I had never heard of it. I watched Beavis and Butthead once, and five minutes of South Park. I found them repulsive.
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
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Re: fartknocker

Post by Ken Greenwald » Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:57 pm

John et al, I wrote this up last night except for some of the quotes I just dug up. However, I see that folks have already jumped all over it this morning. I guess I'll leave it intact despite the repetition:

FARTKNOCKER according to the sources I checked is actually a U.S.-born term having several meanings, one of which looks be, as you pointed out, a synonym of COME A CROPPER, take a hard fall, especially from a horse. It is interesting, however, that two sources with British authors (the first two below), who by no means restrict themselves to British expressions, failed to include this definition. I find it also interesting how little overlap in meanings exist between some dictionaries.

CASSELL’S DICTIONARY OF SLANG noun [1950s and still in use] (U.S.): 1) An obscure person [[a ‘whatshisname’]]. 2) A braggart. 3) One who does not know what they are talking about, an idiot. [ fart + knocker (Standard English), i.e. one who knocks or makes farts; created or at least popularized in the 1990s TV cartoon Beavis and Butthead]
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NEW PARTRIDGE DICTIONARY OF SLANG AND UNCONVENTIONAL ENGLISH

FART-KNOCKER noun 1) U.S. 1952: A despicable person. 2) U.S. 1952: An incompetent blunderer. Used with humour and often affection.
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DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN REGIONAL ENGLISH

FARTKNOCKER:

1) See quote
<1968 “What the cowboy calls any kind of hard fall, especially when thrown from a horse.”—Western Words by Ramon F. Adams, page 109> [[Note: The word does not appear in my 1998 edition of this book]]
2) See quote
<1984 “Any obscure person. Equates to ‘whatshisname.’”—Texas Crude by Ken Weaver, page 44>
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FACTS ON FILE DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN REGIONALISMS

FART-KNOCKER: A cowboy term for a hard fall from a horse.
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<1971 “I didn't get settled in the saddle before that hoss shore sent me on a fart knocker.”—The Cowboy Says it Salty by Ramon F. Adams, page 70>

<1973 “The most exciting thing I did was buffalo riding. . . I stayed with the first one for just one jump. He was a real fart-knocker. . . the second . . . for two jumps. . . the fourth buffalo I lasted for six full jumps.”—Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions: The Life of a Sioux Medicine Man by John Lamedeer, page 51>

<1981 “. . .you old fart knocker — we thought you was dead.”—Battle cry by Leon Uris, page 255>

<1997 “DHS [[Department of Human Services]] responded to a complaint on June 18 that the administrator verbally abused patients and staff at Clarendon's Medical Center Nursing Home by calling them ‘heifers,’ and ‘fart-knockers,’ according to a DHS report of contact.”—Amarillo Globe-News (Texas), 13 November>

<1999 “Some kids still use the cowboy term for a hard fall, especially from a horse: a fartknocker.”—Washington Post, 29 June>

<2000 “Some no-good fart-knocker is out there beatin’ up on a woman.”—After the Parade by Dorothy Garlock, page 291>

<2003 “Marathon Prep Unnecessary for Upgrade Exams: [[User comment]] Certs [[certifications]] don't matter? Maybe you'd better check the job listings. You can't even get your foot in the door without certs. And, with good reason too. People without certs are useless fartknockers to work with.”—Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine, 10 April>

<2004 “The power of homophobia is clearly evidenced in an endless array of derogatory slurs and put-downs that a man can use against other men ranging from the seemingly innocuous statement of disapproval, ‘that’s gay,’ to the taunt ‘fartknocker,’ . . .”— Feminism with Men: Bridging the Gender Gap by Schacht & Ewing, page 123>

<2004 “It’s a story oft repeated in soulful cowboy rhymes: / ‘Old Squallin’ Balley topped the ridge to that ‘Pasture in the sky.’ / He run off with my hobbles just one too many times, / Broke his neck in a fart knocker. Now angels sing his lullaby.’”—Cowboy Poetry: The Reunion by Bennett & Seemann, page 4> [[How touching!]]

<2006 “. . . signed over an initial payment to a certified fartknocker who once upon a time denied your father a small loan . . .”—At Home on This Moveable Earth by William Kloefkorn, page 62>
(quotes from archived sources)
________________________

Ken G – November 11, 2008
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Re: fartknocker

Post by minjeff » Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:28 pm

Phil beat me to it! That's what I remebered fartknocker as meaning. Never anything else.
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Signature: Letters go together to make words; words go together to make phrases, and phrases sentences, but only in certain combinations. In others they're just non-sense.

Re: fartknocker

Post by mickeyboy » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:26 pm

Fahrt in German can mean ride, as in a ride as on a horse
Knack means a crack (like a blow)
If Fart Knocker is derived from Fahrt Knacker, it may be much older than the cowboys
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Re: fartknocker

Post by Phil White » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:11 pm

That falls down somewhat, as "Fahrt" doesn't mean, nor has it ever meant, a ride on a horse. It means a ride or drive in or on a vehicle of some sort.

"Knack" is a relatively late modern German word referring to a cracking sound. The more common word "Knacks" can mean a cracking sound, a crack as in a crack in a vase, an unspecified defect ("something wrong with") or an emotional (but not physical) blow.
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Re: fartknocker

Post by tony h » Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:53 pm

Phil White wrote:That falls down somewhat.
What a shame. I was looking forward to the German origin being confirmed.
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With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

Re: fartknocker

Post by marknh7 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:55 am

The correct origin is as follows:

Back in the late 1960's, there was a game played by middle-aged men at bars. It was played like this:

(1) A guy broke wind (okay, farted)
(2) Then, those within "ear shot" of the fart, were obligated to knock 3 times on wood, then state the name of their favorite beer.
(3) The one who knocked and stated their favorite beer last, was thought to be too impaired to drive.
(4) The "fart knocker" was actually the one who was too impaired to be able to knock 3 times, then say the name of their favorite beer.
(5) Being known as the "fart knocker" actually saved people's lives.

Outside of this, meant as a general insult of sorts.

This was around DECADES before Beavis and Butthead. They did NOT coin this phrase.

It was actually meant to save the lives of middle aged drunk men, along with others on the road with them.

You're welcome!
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Re: fartknocker

Post by trolley » Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:54 am

That settles it then.
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Re: fartknocker

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:15 am

-- So barflies had to wait till one of them farted before they could decide who was fit to drive and who wasn't? And the last one to knock and tell (even if one of the company had sounded their trouser trumpet after they'd all had just one drink) was already driving-impaired?
-- Yes, because "Farts Save Lives".
-- OK. Got it.
-- You're welcome!

(Shomething'sh wrong here, shurely...)
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End of topic.
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