Posted by James Briggs on August 19, 2003
In Reply to: "Knock me up in the morning" posted by Doris on August 19, 2003
: : When Americans first visit the UK they are taken aback by a much different language with all sorts of strange meanings. My first visit in the 60's was highlighted by an instruction to "knock me up in the morning"! Luckily, I just kept quiet and found out the meaning later -- i.e. call me or visit me again tomorrow.
: : Does anyone know the background for that wonderful expression?
: From what I heard when I lived in England - there used to be official "Knocker Uppers". They were people who went round to various addresses knocking on the doors of men who had to get up early for work in the morning. Hence " Pease knock me up at . . ." to be understood as "Please wake me in the morning at . . ."
: Don't know how true this is but this is what I was brought up to understand and the expression lives on - I use it myself.
'Knockers up' did really exist. They used to walk the streets of 19thC English, mainly industial,towns. They carried a long stick and banged on the bedroom windows of their 'customers' to wake them in order that they could get to work on time - clearly before alarm clocks were widely used.