knock-on effect
Posted: 23 June 2018 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  357
Joined  2007-06-14

The term sounds more BE than AE, and most dictionaries call it chiefly British.  When I went hunting for the origin,
I was pleasantly surprised to find this source:

As to derivation, although the term (apparently) has a meaning in rugby football, it’s more likely that the adjectival phrase comes out of physics, where it means “Ejected, produced, or caused as a result of the collision of an atomic or sub-atomic particle with an atom.” (“Knock-on protons produced by 3MeV neutrons would not..produce visible flashes.” Nature, 1971.)

‹‹ Twerp      Etymology from MTV ››