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  1. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #1

    Knot = problem?

    A: How's our little friend doing?
    B: He had a few knots... but it came out alright in the end.
    Can knot mean the same as problem (in this context, or any)? I've looked up knot in several dictionaries, but it's not defined as such.
    It makes sense though, untying a knot can be a non-literal way to say solving the problem.

    Am I right?

    Thanks.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Knot = problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Can knot mean the same as problem (in this context, or any)? I've looked up knot in several dictionaries, but it's not defined as such.
    It makes sense though, untying a knot can be a non-literal way to say solving the problem.

    Am I right?

    Thanks.
    It would depend on context; it could be the sort of knot that occurs in the collocation 'knotty problem'.

    But this sounds to me as the sort of knot could be different (a diffent metaphorical usage). When a tree grows, and branches leave the trunk, the wood - when sawn up, shows points where the grain gets tighter and tighter and forms a tough and unmanageable piece of wood called a 'knot'. Knots in wood are undesireable structurallly (the wood is tough, but where it meets softer wood there is a weakness.) Rarely, knnots can be regarded as attractive (don't ask me why: judge for yourself: http://www.jastimber.co.uk/images/pi...ictorian_4.jpg) - hence the popularity of 'knotty pine'.

    The quote could be about the development of a new recruit, training whom was not perfectly smooth.

    b

    PS Etymological tangent, following up your point about 'untying a knot' meaning 'finding a solution'. English speakers, when discussing literature, often borrow the French dénouement to refer to the end of a novel,. The French for 'knot' is nœud so dénouement means just that. We turn the metaphor on its head when we talk about 'tying up loose ends'.
    Last edited by BobK; 15-Jul-2011 at 14:20. Reason: PS added

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    #3

  3. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Knot = problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post

    The quote could be about the development of a new recruit, training whom was not perfectly smooth.
    That is exactly the context! This was a quote from The Sopranos. Tony Soprano was asking Paulie how their new recruit was doing. Paulie said to Tony that their new member had a few knots. He actually encoutered a few problems, a few days after joining their mob circle.

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    #5

    Re: Knot = problem?

    to tie one’s in knots

    Her stomach was all in knots.

    knot =intrigue, tangle(something jumbled or confused), a complicated situation

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