Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Bandy legs versus knock knees


As I walked the city streets, I was reflecting how seldom one sees a really good set of bandy legs these days.

Bandy legs are those which, when the feet are together, show daylight between the knees.

The opposite are knock knees which, when the knees are together, still have a significant gap between the feet. There are plenty of these about - especially among women - and they often go with pigeon toes.

Bandy legs were very common round here, perhaps especially among face workers in the coal mines who spent long periods with pick and shovel crawling in narrow passages underground away from the sun, and therefore tended to be deficient in vitamin D.

Maybe due to this manual labouring link, and despite being conceivably a mild type of rickets, the BLs had an implication of the bearer being strong and fit; and were frequent among tough little footballers.

Indeed, the term always makes me think first of 'Nobby' Stiles - one of the members of England's 1966 World Cup winning team - small, balding, no front teeth, and (at least, as I remember it) a wiry pair of bandy legs. 


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