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knacker

[nak-er] /ˈnæk ər/
noun, British
1.
a person who buys animal carcasses or slaughters useless livestock for a knackery or rendering works.
2.
a person who buys and dismembers old houses, ships, etc., to salvage usable parts, selling the rest as scrap.
3.
Dialect. an old, sick, or useless farm animal, especially a horse.
4.
Obsolete. a harness maker; a saddler.
Origin
1565-1575
1565-75; knack (< Scandinavian; compare Icelandic hnakkr nape of the neck, saddle) + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for knacker

knacker

/ˈnækə/
noun
1.
a person who buys up old horses for slaughter
2.
a person who buys up old buildings and breaks them up for scrap
3.
(usually pl) (slang) another word for testicle
4.
(Irish, slang) a despicable person
verb
5.
(transitive; usually passive) (slang) to exhaust; tire
Word Origin
C16: probably from nacker saddler, probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse hnakkur saddle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for knacker
v.

usually in past tense, knackered, "to kill, castrate" (1855), but most often used in weakened sense of "to tire out" (1883); apparently from knacker (n.) "worn-out or useless horse," 1812, of unknown origin; possibly from a dialectal survival of a Scandinavian word represented by Old Norse hnakkur "saddle," hnakki "back of the neck," and thus possibly related to neck (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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17
19
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