E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
means simply a boy. (Saxon, cniht.) As boys (like the Latin puer and French garcon) were used as servants, so cniht came to mean a servant. Those who served the feudal kings bore arms, and persons admitted to this privilege were the kings knights; as this distinction was limited to men of family, the word became a title of honour next to the nobility. In modern Latin, a knight is termed auratus (golden), fròm the gilt spurs which he used to wear.
Last of the knights. Maximilian I. of Germany (1459, 14931519).