A white knight is someone who comes to rescue for another.
The rescue is usually in a specific setting, where a man saves a woman from something threatening, or “a damsel in distress”.
The white knight is a hero, a savior and a protector.
However, it may also be used in a derogatory manner, if a person provides unnecessary help to someone, for example, if you are carrying a bag, and a person comes and helps you carry your bag, even if you didn’t really need him to.
Origin of the term
First known use of “white knight” was in 1628, with the definition of a true hero and rescuer.
Later, the term has been made famous by fantasy authors and fiction books, more often than not, based on a middle-age storyline.
Spread of the term
In fiction, such as movies and books, the white knight is usually the savior of the day; the prince who rides on his white horse to save the kingdom and so on.
However, in real life today, a white knight is rather a sarcastic insult towards someone who needlessly aims to help other people, whether they want it or not.
This is particularly directed towards “rescuing” women, with the subconscious aim of getting rewarded sexually.
- Urban Dictionary – White Knight