Knocking school [BE? Scottish?]

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gnascimben

New Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Hello!

I am listening to a Belle & Sebastian song and there is the following sentence:

Lisa met Chelsea at the knocking school
Chelsea didn't feel like following the rules
So they left the place for another school
Where the boys go with boys and the girls with girls


I can not understand the meaning of "knocking school". Is this a specific kind of school or is "knocking" a generic adjective?

Regards,

Guilherme
 
  • Max27

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi,
    I never heard of knocking school.
    I tried to look it up on google and there is nothing there to help. By the context of the song, my guess would be that they are talking about grammar school which is the same as elementary school. Are the singers from the UK?
     

    gnascimben

    New Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Yes, Max27, they are from Scotland. I had also looked it up on google and a few dictionaries with no success. Thanks anyway!
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I've been scooting all over the internet looking for clues to this phrase in the song by the Scottish alternative rock pair Belle & Sebastian. The closest thing I found is the same as E2efour has suggested: "Knocking shop."

    Given that UrbanDictionary.com also offers an alternative definition for "knocking shop"--a house used by teenagers for sexual activities--is it possible that the phrase in the song plays on that?

    Could "knocking school" be meant to suggest a school in which casual [heterosexual] sex is common? The words that follow in the song might suggest that these teens were uncomfortable there because they were gay.
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    If you actually take the trouble to listen to the song " She's losing it" on Youtube, you will hear that the word "knocking" is not spoken.

    It sounds more like "the knock at school" but it is indistinct. I don't know what it means.

    Please note: Online lyrics are usually incorrectly transcribed!!!! Don't believe them.
     

    mangoman

    Senior Member
    British English
    If you actually take the trouble to listen to the song " She's losing it" on Youtube, you will hear that the word "knocking" is not spoken.

    It sounds more like "the knock at school" but it is indistinct. I don't know what it means.

    Please note: Online lyrics are usually incorrectly transcribed!!!! Don't believe them.

    It http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxRVX6NerJMsounds clear enough to me: "Lisa met Chelsea at the knocking school", as gnascimben says. She wants to go a school where the boys go with boys and the girls with girls, so yes, she's fed up of the school being like a knocking shop, as e2efour suggests.

    It's a nice piece of poetry. I'll have to listen to some more of them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    Okay, we hear it differently. Maybe that is reason enough to doubt. Any other opinions of what he actually says?
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    If you actually take the trouble to listen to the song " She's losing it" on Youtube, you will hear that the word "knocking" is not spoken.

    It sounds more like "the knock at school" but it is indistinct. I don't know what it means.

    Please note: Online lyrics are usually incorrectly transcribed!!!! Don't believe them.
    In my search (see my earlier post), I found literally dozens of instances where the lyrics were spelled out--including a couple apparently belonging to the performers themselves. There was no variation: All of them were exactly like the version that's been quoted here, including the word "knocking". I feel sure that it was quoted accurately.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    ... my guess would be that they are talking about grammar school which is the same as elementary school.
    No, the equivalent for 'elementary school' is 'primary school'. A grammar school is actually a kind of secondary school (= high school) which is more academic in nature (in contrast to a comprehensive school).

    Okay, we hear it differently. Maybe that is reason enough to doubt. Any other opinions of what he actually says?
    Yes, I hear 'knocking' as well. I think Parla's explanation is the correct one.
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    In my search (see my earlier post), I found literally dozens of instances where the lyrics were spelled out--including a couple apparently belonging to the performers themselves. There was no variation: All of them were exactly like the version that's been quoted here, including the word "knocking". I feel sure that it was quoted accurately.
    Unfortunately what happens is that one person puts some lyrics online and then other people cut and paste them indiscriminately. On of my favourite examples of this is Ella Marigby http://www.google.co.uk/search?rlz=1C1GPMD_enGB321GB321&aq=f&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Ella+marigby

    Just because it gets a lot of hits doesn't mean its correct. If you want even worse examples of this you can private message me.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I'm a Belle & Sebastian fan so I'm pretty familiar with their accents and I hear "knocking" as well.
    I agree that there are tons of misheard lyrics that get copied from lyric site to lyric site. But until someone suggests a possible explanation for what it means to meet someone "at the knock at school" there seems little point in defending your hearing of the lyric more than you already have.
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'm a Belle & Sebastian fan so I'm pretty familiar with their accents and I hear "knocking" as well.
    I agree that there are tons of misheard lyrics that get copied from lyric site to lyric site. But until someone suggests a possible explanation for what it means to meet someone "at the knock at school" there seems little point in defending your hearing of the lyric more than you already have.
    Okay.
     

    gnascimben

    New Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Hello, folks!

    Thanks for the explanations so far.

    About the words they sing, I am pretty sure it is "knocking school". I have the original album here with me and it's writen "knocking school" on it.

    Parla, I liked your explanation very much! It is so Belle & Sebastian! :D
     
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