True-lovers' Knot

is the Danish trolovelses knort, “a betrothment bond,” not a compound of true and lover. Thus in the Icelandic Gospel the phrase, “a virgin espoused to a man,” is, er trulofad var cinum mannë.

Three times a true-love's knot I tie secure;
Firm be the knot, firm may his love endure.

Gay's Pastorals: The Spell.

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