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Re: With knobs on

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on April 11, 2008 at 07:08:

In Reply to: With knobs on posted by Manuela on April 10, 2008 at 10:53:

: I'm trying to find out where the following comes from and what it actually means: 'boo/poo to you, with knobs on'

"With knobs on" is 1920s slang, and it means "with extras, with embellishments". In the late 19th century "with bells on" or "with tits on" were used in the same sense.

In the context you give, it's a childish retort, used when the speaker can't think of a better answer to an insult (e.g. "Sucks to you!" "Same to you with knobs on!"). But in the light of the earlier version "with tits on", it's possible that it was originally mildly obscene, given that "knob" has been a slang term for "penis" since the 17th century. (VSD)