Origin of Knickerbocker

1800–10, Americanism; generalized from Diedrich Knickerbocker, fictitious author of Washington Irving's History of New York Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for knickerbocker

Contemporary Examples of knickerbocker

  • On some, on the letterhead, it will say, Dashiell Hammett, Knickerbocker, San Francisco, California.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Lost Hammett Stories Discovered

    Malcolm Jones

    February 16, 2011

  • The last time he saw her was at lunch at the Knickerbocker Club in September 2001.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Is Brooke Astor's Son a Swindler?

    Ralph Gardner, Jr.

    May 1, 2009

  • Knickerbocker SKD also happens to have another client—the Rev. Al Sharpton, with whom Kennedy just had a media-event lunch.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Unknown Caroline

    Harry Siegel

    December 20, 2008

Historical Examples of knickerbocker

  • Here was the mythological monster that the Knickerbocker has become.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • There was never anything quite like the Knickerbocker, and there never will be again.


    Charles Godfrey Leland

  • The other was an odd mélange, which had appeared in chapters in the Knickerbocker Magazine.


    Charles Godfrey Leland

  • He had read the Knickerbocker, and knew my name well, and took good care of us.


    Charles Godfrey Leland

  • Soon after, Clark republished it in the Knickerbocker, saying that it was evidently by me.


    Charles Godfrey Leland

British Dictionary definitions for knickerbocker


noun US
  1. a descendant of the original Dutch settlers of New York
  2. an inhabitant of New York

Word Origin for Knickerbocker

C19: named after Diedrich Knickerbocker, fictitious Dutchman alleged to be the author of Washington Irving's History of New York (1809)
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

Word Origin and History for knickerbocker


"descendant of Dutch settlers of New York," 1831, from Diedrich Knickerbocker, the name under which Washington Irving published his popular "History of New York" (1809). The pen-name was borrowed from Irving's friend Herman Knickerbocker, and literally means "toy marble-baker."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper