What do the NY Knicks and Washington Irving Have in Common?


I dug up this literary tidbit while I was doing some research recently. It links American literature with basketball and even Halloween. Who needs Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon when you have this?

Okay, so you know the team the New York Knicks, right? Have you ever wondered what a "Knick" is?

Well, it turns out, the New York Knickerbockers were named after a pseudonym Washington Irving (of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" fame) used when he wrote the satirical A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, Diedrich Knickerbocker.

Washington Irving. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.)

A 'knickerbocker" refers to the style of pants the Dutch settlers wore in the 1600s, pants that rolled up under the knee, or "knickers." In his work, Irving used it to describe a New Yorker who could trace his or her ancestry back to the original Dutch settlers.

Washington Irving was so popular, the Knickerbocker became synonymous with New York.

To read more about this interesting connection, click here.


Leah Griffith said…
That's what I love about you Karen. You're not content to take things for granted, you have the curiosity and the ambition to search things out! Unlike myself who is a bit lazy and consider it an accomplishment when I read an article that somebody else has researched. Well done!

All this talk about knickers makes me think that this must be where the phrase, "Keep your knickers on." came from. Of course there are other possibilities but I won't go there...;)
Leah, you are so sweet. Thanks for your lovely words. :)
Anonymous said…
Interesting. I had no idea.
I thought it was a fun fact. Thanks for stopping by, angel011.
Chrys Fey said…
That's so interesting! I love learning all these new facts and information about authors and stories, etc. from you! :)
Glad I can be of service, Chrys. :)
Claudine G. said…
I had no idea! This is a fun fact, and now I can tell it to the folks next to me when I attend an NBA game. (I do dream of this, just don't know if it'll be a Knicks game yet.) Thanks, Karen!
Richard Bon said…
Really cool little random fact! Thanks for sharing this, Karen.
My pleasure, Richard. Thanks for reading.

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