knight in shining armour

knight in shining armour
or, a knight on a white charger

Meaning

  • used to describe someone who saves you from a difficult situation
  • a well-mannered man who comes to save or help somebody from trouble
  • the term is used quite humorously as someone who comes to your aid

Example Sentences

  1. Thank you so much for fixing my flat tire. You are a knight in shining armour.
  2. You saved me from having to talk to that tedious woman. You are my knight in shining armour.
  3. John is like a knight in shining armour to Jane since he paid her credit card bills.
  4. Don’t try to be a knight in shining armour you can’t save that drowning dog into the raging river.
  5. She was about to fall from the cliff when Carl saved her life like a knight on a white charger.

Origin

In the middle ages knights were often called upon to save people in distress, generally helpless damsels. They were dressed in armourto protect them. In truth, if a knight actually fought, their armour would not remain shining. Thus, it can be said that a knight in shining armour only pretends to be valiant. Also, the armour of royalty and nobility were the only ones polished and shining.

This said, it is the way that brave knights are depicted in paintings and stories dating back to medieval times. It was believed that women were unable to fend for themselves and needed a heroic knight to save them from any difficult situation.

One of the early examples of the term can be found in The British journal The Monthly Review, 1790, in a poem called Amusement: A Poetical Essay, by Henry Pye:

“No more the knight, in shining armour dress’d
Opposes to the pointed lance his breast … “

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