#AtoZChallenge: K is for KNICK-KNACK

59 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2015, Language, Writing/Blogging
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#AtoZChallenge, Day 11: K is for KNICK-KNACK, The Doglady's Den
Day 11, April 13




a small worthless object, especially a household ornament.

synonyms: trinket, novelty, gewgaw, bibelot, ornament,
trifle, bauble, gimcrack, curio, tchotchke, 
memento, souvenir

Confession time! I have a knick-knack fetish. These are the shelves in my dining area. As you can see, my taste runs to glassware, booze bottles (common in European culture; some are rare collectables), art plates, photo frames, books and souvenirs. Yes, I love all my little baubles – many have sentimental value – except when it comes to dusting them. Talk about a boring, time-consuming task! Next time, I’ll try doing it with full presenceConfession #2: Sometimes, I merely swipe at them lackadaisically (don’t you love that word too?) with a feather duster. Looks good enough if you don’t get too close. 😉

#AtoZChallenge, Day11: K is for Knick-Knack, The Doglady's Den

Another knick-knack obsession is fridge magnets.
Some are souvenirs from our travels, while others have funny or cute sayings.

#AtoZChallenge, Day 11: K is for Knick-Knacks, The Doglady's Den

This was a gift for Hubby, who’s been putting up with my German ways all these years.
He made some facetious comment about it and rolled his eyes. 😀

#AtoZChallenge, Day 11: K is for Knick-Knacks, The Doglady's Den(Frankenmuth is a picturesque German town in northern Michigan, U.S.A.
Stay tuned for the ensuing travel article.)

Then there’s the old nursery rhyme, which is unrelated to the above, or is it?

This song’s origins are fairly obscure, but it may or may not have had something to do with the Irish potato famine. Folk singer Pete Seeger recorded it in 1953 and it appeared in the film, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness in 1958.

Etymology for the word “Knick-Knack” is also somewhat hazy:

#AtoZChallenge, Day 11: K is for KNICK-KNACK, The Doglady's Den

Do you collect knick-knacks? If so, what kind?

 Can you tell us anything about the origins of this nursery rhyme?

Looking forward to your comments!


AtoZChallenge 2015
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Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as “The Doglady”. Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal “hippie/rockchick”. Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!

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59 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: K is for KNICK-KNACK

    1. Yeah, about 40 years worth, Elly and I don’t enjoy dusting them either, but they all have memories attached. That’s where the “full presence” comes in; trying to make it a pleasant task by thinking of their origins, etc. You’re right – books aren’t knick-knacks – they just happened to be there. I have hundreds more books elsewhere, plus CDs DVDs, even old vinyl records and cassettes, (with a vintage 1973 stereo to play them on). Total packrat! LOL We’ve lived in this house for 19 years. Moving would probably cure me. 🙂 There was a Nirvana song about a heart-shaped box. Sounds like a lovely collection.
      Debbie D. recently posted…#AtoZChallenge: L is for LOGOPHILIC LINGUISTMy Profile

  1. I’m loving your shelves! My grandma had a ton of things on her living room shelves, she still has them to this day. I’m a hoarder of pretty notebooks & pens. It’s crazy how much I love office supplies, haha.
    Leslie recently posted…Kitchen – It’s ComplicatedMy Profile

  2. I love all of your knick-knacks! I am not a knick-knack person, however, the ones I do have are very precious to me and I display them proudly. My biggest down fall? BOOKS! I am out of room for all of my books. Are books knock-knacks? 😉

  3. Loved your post about knick knacks and the photos of your treasures. It’s such a fun word, isn’t it? I used to collect angels and cats but haven’t for some time now. I find I’m less of a collector now and just want to collect experiences instead of things these days. I do have some that have sentimental value but others I could take them or leave them.
    Cat Graham recently posted…K is for KindnessMy Profile

  4. You do have some knick-knacks! I certainly have a number that I’ve acquired from different people–I rarely buy any myself unless it’s been for someone else. My wife has got quite an array of fridge magnets.

    My daughters use “knick-knack” a lot when they are describing something silly, trite, or to them dumb. They say “such and such is so knick-knacky”. I’m amused by they way they say it, but I have no idea where they picked up the expression.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Arlee Bird recently posted…Knowledge (Elements of Blogging) #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  5. I love this word and all others related to it, such as hodgepodge, mingle-mangle, mish mash, odds & ends, ragbag, bits & bobs
    … and the one that I REALLY, REALLY love the sound of is oodles of caboodles!

    My thoughts for today?
    Kickstart your K-Day at your keyboard with a keen and knowledgeable, killer, knockout, kick-ass attitude.
    Keep at it!
    Happy K-Day! 🙂
    Michelle Wallace recently posted…J is for Jellyfish JollificationMy Profile

  6. Very interesting post ! I don’t really have a habit of collecting. But I do love the albums, which is precious filled with beautiful and memorable moments..

  7. I would love to see your collection of knick knacks up close 🙂 love the magnets too, your post today is a visual treat.

  8. I love learning the history of words! I wonder if adding knick to knack to mean a trick had to do with “to nick” meaning “to steal”? We don’t have too many knick-knacks, mainly ornaments the kids have made. Our fridge isn’t magnetic, but we have a small collection of oven magnets!
    Nick Wilford recently posted…K is for KludgeMy Profile

  9. I love knick-knacks! Adorable video. Now I’ll have that song stuck in my head for the day…
    I downsized on the knick-knacks because I hate dusting them all. I ended up buying four curio cabinets last year and now everything is behind glass and doesn’t get near as dusty as it used to and it makes my job so much easier. I collect beer steins, greyhound statues, Pocket Dragons and that’s about it nowadays. I actually haven’t bought anything in ages since I simply don’t have room for any more. I’m in a down-size streak these days… But I love looking at others’ knick-knacks. Thanks for sharing yours! Fun stuff!
    Michele Truhlik recently posted…J is for Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Joe Walsh, Journey, Joan Jet, Judas Priest, James Taylor, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix!My Profile

    1. Hahaha! That’s a real ear worm, alright. 🙂 Yeah; I hate dusting them too and take a lot of short cuts – hurray for feather dusters! Glass cabinets would definitely be better and I have a big one of those too, filled with the good crystal, etc. We also have a few beer steins. I had to look up “Pocket Dragons”. They’re cute! 🙂 Love the dog statues and of course, we have some Dalmatian ones, as well as collector plates and a fun picture frame. Hubby and I are pack rats and our little bungalow is crammed full of stuff. Definitely time to start down-sizing! Giant yard sale, maybe.
      Debbie D. recently posted…#AtoZChallenge: J is for JUSTIFICATIONMy Profile