The Name Knatz and the Knatz’s Names
Section established @ K. c. 2003
Knatz is German. I’ve been told it means nothing. I’ve been told it means grumpy old man.
I’ve been told it means the squeak a door makes when it needs lubrication. Just recently bk told me that Hilary found an etymology based on “St. Ignatius”!
In German, the K is pronounced. In English, the K is silent: like knife. Or like Gnats.
There’s evidence that the Knatz patriarch came from Niederstein, Germany. All of the Knatzs that I know of in the United States are descended from the six sons of my paternal great grandfather: August Knatz. Conrad Knatz was the oldest. My grandfather, August like his father, was the youngest and was born without an arm. My father, August Paul Knatz, used to tell me that Grandpa lost that arm by resting it on the sill of the window of the train engine while driving the train.
2006 09 26
I just received an email from a Knatz who knows the family roots in Niederstein. I quote part of Laura’s letter:
I also don’t know, where the name Knatz comes from. Indeed, to be “knatzig” is a German dialect-expression for someone, who is kind of “odd fish” or “crotchety”, as far as I can translate this. And “knartzen” means this squeaking-door-expression. But, I also think, that it might be rooted in “Ignatz” or “Ignatius”. Maybe by legend, this guy was a bit like a squeaking door?!
But, in fact, the word/name “Ignatz” often appears connected with jewish people, too. But I don’t have any information about that. And as far as I know none of my relatives was Jewish (but, as you will know, there was a time in Germany, when being Jewish was not so favorable, so I cannot be sure about that). I only know, that the Knatz family in Niedenstein used to be simple workers, craftsmen and farmers. I once saw, where the old family-house was standing, but as I remember it is not existing anymore. Some other Knatz people should still live there or nearby.
Actually, August Knatz practiced law: without the bother of having gone to law school. His son, my father, August Paul Knatz, did take that bother and practiced under the imprimatur of the New York State Bar. The dude's picture, full page, appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, September 25, 1926. The Best Dressed Man at Columbia was advertising shirts.
Gus Knatz married Norma Feudtner. That’s my mom!
God! If we’re so German, how come we’re so English?
(‘Cause all the culture comes through my maternal grandmother, who, a Turner, was ward to Sir Robert Peel, Prime Minister.)
Today is Monday. Tomorrow’s Tuesday. The next day’s Wednesday.
Half the week’s gone and nothing is done!
preparing to clean the house
I was born August Paul Knatz, Jr. in New York City (making me at least the fourth August in a row). “pk” was born on a list thumbtacked to the kitchen wall of a furnished six flight walk up on West 112th Street — four blocks and a bit south longitude, several doors east latitude of where Gus’s ad was posed. (Three roommates kept track like a bridge score of who’d spent what on groceries and supplies. On the street as in his reading chair “rdj” remained Bob DeJong: “bt” is still Bill Tapley, but “pk,” despite the lack of legal papers, emerged as pk forever.)
Hilary was born Hilary Etta MacDonald Fleming in London. She became Hilary Knatz in New York City. Despite our long separation, she kept the Knatz name.
The son of and Hilary Knatz was born Brian Andrew Knatz in New York City.
You may ask him when bk was born: I merely see it as inevitable, especially with email and such. Net guru bk has any number of presences on the web.
Brian Knatz Marcus, the legal entity, was born a couple of months ago. The birth was not painful: this parturition avoided pain: the pain of having his fiancée, Nathalie Charon (born in France) become Nathalie Knatz: an alliteration to be abhorred. Hilary’s maiden name of Fleming is dandy — I wish I’d taken her name — but bk went with Hilary’s father’s given name: Marcus. That choice gains aura by the fact that Nathalie has an uncle named Marcel. Note the identical Martian root.
My name for the family, Brian, Nathalie, and Benjamin is “the Marcus”. (The Marcus’s plan to live on an island off the French Riviera was put on hold by the NASDAQ crash.)
John Marcus Fleming would have been knighted had he lived a month longer. At least both Harvard and Columbia published his papers.
note Now the name, which apparently comes from the doctor delivering him beneath the parental domicile’s portrait of Marcus Aurelius, lives on in someone one of whose nom de plumesis Arthur Knight.
Now if any of us had been born (or married) Knight, who’d mind the ridiculous silent K?
(If bk doesn’t exercise his option on his pen name soon, pk may be tempted to steal it.)
2013 02 04 update: I did steal it! bk may well also be using it.
Thoroughbred horse breeders have the decency to credit both sire and dam where they’re proud of the issue. Some cultures that use surnames, like the Spanish, apply both parents’ surnames to the child: the mother’s name placing second: of course. In English, the damn males get the credit regardless of deserts. I mentioned that my mother was born Norma Feudtner. As a kid I heard far more Feudtner stories than Knatz stories. My Uncle Charlie is one Feudtner already mentioned at . I’m about to tell a story involving him, but before I do, perhaps Charles Feudtner deserves his own introductory module.
Marcus Fleming, Economist:
I didn’t know at the time of writing the above that Marcus did get his name on a Nobel Prize in economics: specifically on Robert Mundell‘s Nobel Prize! Mundell authored a paper that someone recognized to duplicate an economic model invented by Marcus. The prize was given to Mundell for “the Mundell-Fleming Model.” See this link on the order of the names, the first paper somehow being credited second.