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Saxon. A knave. This old Saxon word had at first a sense of simplicity and innocence, for it signified ' a boy.' The Sax. (' Cnafa') distinguished a boy from a girl, in several ancient writers. Thus, the poet says, ' a knave child between them two they gate.' Gower's Poem. And Wickliffe, in his old translation, Exod. i. 16, says, 'if it be a knave child,' alluding to Pharaoh and the Hebrew children, vid. Exod. i . v. 16.

Afterwards the word was taken for a servant boy. At length, however, it was applied for any servant man; also to a member or officer who bore the weapon, or shield of his superiors, as 'scild knapa,' whom the Latins call 'armiger,' and the French 'escuyer,' whence the English word 'esquire,'

We find at games with cards that the one immediately inferior to the queen in each suit is called 'the knave;' a word, probably, at the time cards were first introduced into England, signifying an officer or servant who bore the shield of, or waited upon his superior

This word knave, however, with many others in the English language, has now another and a ...

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