Slang City Mail

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October 19, 2006

Slang of the Week: door knockers (noun phrase)
earrings that resemble a door knocker on a house (and are often the same size!)

Monica’s doorknockers were so big that when she turned too quickly, she knocked herself unconscious.

Celebrity quote:
“There were these drunk guys on the train…one of them snatched the whole side of my earring…Somebody was always trying to get you for your doorknockers. Why you think you see all them torn earlobes?”
Hip hop diva Lil’ Kim, quoted in the book Bling

It’s hard for me to think about this word without remembering one of my favorite slang-related family stories. When my parents were remodeling our house, my mother went to Sears with my brother and sister to see if she could find something to brighten up the entrance. (I don’t know why I wasn’t there, but it is one of my biggest regrets in life to have missed it.)

According to my siblings, Mom approached a saleswoman in the hardware department and asked, “May I see your knockers?” Of course, she meant the brass things you put on the front door, but not surprisingly, the woman understood the slang meaning and was horrified by the request to reveal her breasts.

Of course, that was back before earrings were big, big, big in the eighties! After ten years of wearing those shoulder scraping doorknockers, women’s earlobes were never the same, so one can only hope they won’t come back into fashion.