A punning headline (“Weak in the Knees”), over a story about tennis star Serena Williams’ withdrawal from a tourney due to a knee injury, got me thinking about this particular body part.
We, too, say слаб в коленках (weak in the knees) about someone who is not daring or bold, whose knees shake (у него колени дрожат) in times of trouble. Meanwhile, for guys like me who work in small companies, we say they are used to делать всё на коленке (doing everything on the knee), evoking the image of a reporter who does not have a proper desk and has to use his knee instead.
Of course, those who work in large companies are said to spend time on their knees (становиться на колени), genuflecting before their supervisor or boss. In some cases, if you don’t, you run the risk that some day тебе дадут коленом под зад (they will give you a knee in the rear, i.e. kick you out).
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