Knock Under

(To). Johnson says this expression arose from a custom once common of knocking under the table when any guest wished to acknowledge himself beaten in argument. Another derivation is knuckle under- i.e. to knuckle or bend the knuckle or knee in proof of submission. Bellenden Kerr says it is Te nock ander, which he interprets “I am forced to yield.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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