When listening to a conversation taking place in English you are likely to come across the phrase ‘knick knacks.’ But what is the meaning of this phrase? We are going to look at the answer to this question as well as finding out where the phrase first came from and how we can use it in our day to day conversations.
“Knick Knacks” Meaning
The meaning of the term ‘knick knacks’ refers to a random item, or a selection of random items. These items are usually kept as collectables or ornaments and toys.
Origin of this idiom
This idiomatic phrase is believed to have derived from the word ‘knack’ in the 16th century. The word knack was originally used to describe a trinket and that is where the meaning we use today has evolved from.
“Knick Knacks” Examples
Examples in Statements
This is a statement made by someone who collects items related to the Royal Family.
- ‘I have plates featuring the Queen, tea cups, towels and many other knick knacks that I have collected over the years.’
Here is a statement made in an advert for a shop.
- ‘We sell everything from jewelry to sweets and plenty of other little knick knacks.’
Here are a couple of examples of how the term ‘knick knacks’ would work in a conversation.
This first conversation is occurring between a husband and wife.
- Person 1: “We need to get rid of some of the things in this living room.”
- Person 2: “Why do we?”
- Person 1: “There are too many knick knacks in here and it is starting to look a mess.”
Here is a conversation which is happening between two friends.
- Person 1: “I have been collecting pigs for many years. “
- Person 2: “What sort of things do you collect?”
- Person 1: “I have cuddly toys, pictures and a lot of little knick knacks that I keep on the shelf.”
Other Ways to Say the Phrase
There are a lot of other ways in which you can say the term ‘knick knacks.’ Here are a few examples of other phrases that mean the same thing.
- Bits and bobs
- Odds and ends
- This and that
What Does “Knick Knacks” Mean? | Image