(A). A knife. (Anglo-Saxon kwytel, a
knife; hwat, sharp or keen.)
“Walter de Aldeham holds land of the king in the More, in
the county of Salop, by the service of paying to the king yearly at
his exchequer two knives [whittles], whereof one ought to be of that
value or goodness that at the first stroke it would cut asunder in the
middle a hasle-rod of a year's growth, and of the length of a cubit,
which service ought to be ... on the morrow of St. Michael ... The
said knives [whittles] to be delivered to the chamberlain to keep for
the king's use.” —
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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