White Knighting

What does white knighting mean?

Saving someone in distress

White knighting is when someone, typically a male, swoops in to rescue a person, typically a female (aka damsel), in distress. It commonly occurs online when people stick up for those targeted by cyberbullies.

Where did white knighting come from?

The phrase comes from the mythological white knight character portrayed in various literature as a heroic warrior that comes to the aid of others. Nowadays, a white knight is a savior online looking to protect victims from verbal abuse and harassment.

While it's often seen as a good thing to stand up for others, white knighting may be used as a derogatory term. People who criticize white knighting believe it is primarily done to get a reward from the damsel, often something sexual in nature.

What does white knighting look like?

A person may be bombarded by a horde of trolls in an online chatroom or forum, and a white knight may post in defense of the target. Or a woman may be shamed for a picture she posts on social media, and the white knight may hit back at the shamers.

Example

"It may seem like Gary's a nice guy but he's just white knighting to get with girls."
White knight meme

White knight meme

Related Slang

Usage

Last Updated: July 21, 2021

White knighting definition

This page explains what the slang term "White knighting" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slangit team.

We are constantly updating our database with new slang terms, acronyms, and abbreviations. If you would like to suggest a term or an update to an existing one, please let us know!