A knight in shining armor

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by DreamerX, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. DreamerX Member

    In your language, what would be the equivalent of “a knight in shining armor?” We tend to use this expression in reference to a man who helps out a woman when she is in trouble. The saying has its origins in Medieval Times, most likely in the legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, when knights dressed in shining armor would swoop in to save a damsel in distress. In modern English usage, when a man rescues a woman in danger, he may be referred to as her knight in shining armor. Usually, this man possesses heroic and gentlemanly qualities. Note that this idiom does not imply that a woman and said knight in shining armor will necessarily get married. It mostly refers to the act of rescuing and the chivalrous conduct on the part of the man. Sometimes, this expression may be used ironically when talking about less serious situations.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  2. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dutch: knight on the white horse, I think, ridders op het witte paard, which contains a shade of irony, I believe, because the lady 'at stake' ;-) cannot perceive anything negative about her ridder (chevalier, knight)..
  3. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek we say he's «ο ιππότης του παραμυθιού» [o i'potis tu parami'θçu] --> the knight from the tale

    «Ιππότης» [i'potis] (masc.) --> chevalier, knight < Classical masc. noun «ἱππότης» hĭppótēs --> horseman, chariot driver, knight < Classical masc. noun «ἵππος» híppŏs --> horse (PIE *h₁éḱuo-, horse).
    «Ιπποσύνη» [ipo'sini] (fem.) --> chivalry < Classical fem. noun «ἱπποσύνη» hĭppŏsúnē --> horsemanship, chivalry
  4. arielipi Senior Member

    אביר על סוס לבן abir al sus lavan - a knight on white horse

    the following are either archaic or not common
    שומר נפשי shomer nafshi - my soul's (=life) guardian
    נסיך מהאגדות nasich meha'agadot - prince from the tales (=fairy tales)

    there are more im sure of it, but i cant think of right now
  5. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Hungarian: gavallér [etymology from the German Kavalier, French cavalier, Italian cavaliere; knight is "lovag" in Hungarian], so we have only one word for your expression.
  6. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    The action is called 英雄救美 - "a hero saves beauty".
    A rather modern nickname for a man who often tries to protect women is: 護花使者 - "the legate who protects flowers".
    (By the way, a bad guy who rapes or attacks women is nicknamed 採花大盜 - "the thief who picks flowers".)
    白馬王子 - "White-horse Prince" is the translation of "Prince Charming".
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  7. lingpil Senior Member

    German & Russian
    Wow, I'm deeply impressed by the poetry of the Chinese expressions.
    The German equivalent is quite boring: ein Ritter in glänzender Rüstung - word by word the same like in English
    For a man many women (or rather girls) dream of, we say "Märchenprinz" or "Traumprinz". (Märchen = fairy tale; Traum = dream; Prinz = prince).
  8. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Those Chinese expressions were not very poetic, actually. Maybe you were just bored by your own culture, glad to see some different ideas. :)
    To many Chinese, those concepts like "Prince Charming", or "a knight in shinning armor" sounds pretty romantic. We'd hate that we can't find a direct translation. :p
  9. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    принц на белом коне -a prince on a white stallion
  10. learnerr Senior Member

    I've always thought it means one who marries you. Is this not true? :confused:
    The literal translation is "рыцарь в сияющем доспехе", and it really makes think of gallantry, but with no specifics.
  11. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    I always thought it was this perfect man that rescues a girl from her current life and whisks her away into an unspecified perfect future.:)
  12. DreamerX Member

    I would just like to add that we also say “my Prince Charming” in English. However, unlike “my knight in shining armor,” it means somebody that a woman is going to marry and does not necessarily imply gallantry (although it is obviously expected that a Prince Charming will do everything within his power to protect the woman he has married). A woman’s Prince Charming is simply the perfect man for her, or, as we also like to say, Mr. Right.

    We also use “guardian angel” in the sense of “a knight in shining armor.” This phrase has more religious connotations, but the meaning is essentially the same. A woman who has been rescued from death might call her savior her guardian angel.

    By the way, the word “cavalier” means absolutely nothing as a common noun in modern English. It is only used as a historical reference to supporters of King Charles I in the English Civil War from 1642 to 1651, which was a struggle between absolutism and parliamentarianism. The Cavaliers were the name given to the Royalist faction, which advocated a more despotic form of government and struggled against the Parliamentarian revolutionaries, who believed that a monarch should not govern without the consent of a Parliament. Today, the word “cavalier” is only employed as an adjective. “Having a cavalier attitude” toward something means being overly confident about something to the point of not calculating the risks involved. We also have the NBA basketball team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
  13. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Yes, I had the feeling some people mixed up Prince Charming with knight in shining armor here. Not me. ;)
  14. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
  15. morior_invictus

    morior_invictus Senior Member


    a knight in shining armor = rytier v žiarivej zbroji
  16. Medune Senior Member

    Portuguese- Portugal/Brazil
    I cannot remember whether I have already heard cavaleiro em armadura reluzente - literally knight in shining armour-, but this expression seems oddly familiar to me.
  17. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    Japanese: 正義の味方(a friend of justice), 白馬の王子様(a prince on a white horse) or 白馬の騎士様(a knight on a white horse). Either of them refers to a person who rapidly runs to someone(almost referred as to woman) in trouble.
  18. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Czech - rytíř bez bázně a hany
  19. Penyafort

    Penyafort Senior Member

    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    In Catalan, being a cavaller 'knight' means being a gentleman.

    In a sentence like <The firefighter who rescued us was our knight in shining armor>, we would simply use the word 'saviour':
    El bomber que ens va rescatar va ser el nostre salvador.
    (Or àngel de la guarda / àngel protector 'guardian angel', when bravery isn't taken into account.)​

    When it means something like Prince Charming, as in <She is still waiting for her knight in shining armor>, we would say 'blue prince', as some other Romance languages do:
    Ella encara espera el seu príncep blau.
  20. ilocas2 Senior Member


    rytíř v zářivé zbroji
  21. MyriadLeaves

    MyriadLeaves Member

    Northern British English
    For "Prince Charming" we've got: Prinsen på den hvide hest ("The prince on the white horse"). I have quite frankly never heard a Danish equivalent to "Knight in shining armour", but nevertheless I did a quick googling for the literal translation of the phrase and found a scant, few results for "ridder i skinnende rustning".

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