Browse the glossary by clicking on any of the letters below.

  A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  I  |  J  |  K  |  L  |  M

  N  |  O  |  P  |  Q  |  R  |  S  |  T  |  U  |  V  |  W  |  X  |  Z

Alphabetically Arranged with Cyclopedic Meanings and Bible References


Pure gold is 24 karats.  The karat of gold alloy is determined by the percentage of pure gold.  For instance 18K gold is 750 parts pure gold and 250 parts other metal or 18 parts pure gold and 6 parts other metal.

Keepers Of The House Shall Tremble

Refers to the infirmities of old age.  By the house is meant the body of man, the arms and legs weakened by old age, are the keepers.  Eccles.  12:3


Among the ancients the key was a symbol of authority and power; this was true among the Hebrews.  Following this ancient symbolism the crossed keys are the Jewel of the Treasurer of a Lodge, because he is responsible for the purse and for receiving and paying out the funds for the Fraternity.  In the Royal Arch Degree and in the Secret Master, or Fourth Degree of the Scottish Rite, the key is the symbol of secrecy.  It is a reminder that the secrets of Freemasonry are to be locked up or concealed in the heart.  Isa. 22:22 -  Matt. 16:19


The stone placed in the center of an arch which preserves the others in their places, and secures the firmness and stability to the arch.  As it was formerly the custom of Operative Masons to place a peculiar mark on each stone of the building to designate the workman by whom it had been adjusted, so the Keystone was most likely to receive the most prominent mark, that of the superintendent of the structure.  Such is related to have occurred to that Keystone which plays so important a part in the legend of the Royal Arch Degree.  The objection has sometimes been made, that the arch was unknown in the time of Solomon.  But this objection has been completely laid to rest by the researches of antiquaries and travelers within a few years past.  Wilkinson discovered arches with regular keystones in the doorways of the tombs of Thebes, the construction of which he traced to the year 15540 B.C., or 460 years before the building of the Temple of Solomon.  And Dr. Clark asserts that the Cyclopean gallery of Tiryns exhibits lancet-shaped arches almost as old as the time of Abraham.  In fact, in the Solomonic era, the construction of the arch must have been known to the Dionysian Artificers, of whom, it is a freely received theory, many were present at the building of the Temple.  EXAMPLE   Another shape used is a double keystone; that is, a keystone on top of a larger keystone.


This is a village in Ayrshire Scotland, reputed to be the site of the earliest Masonic Lodge of that country, and of great Masonic influence in England.

K.K. or k.k.

Kaiserlich-Koniglich.  German, meaning imperial-royal, or royally privileged.  Loosely, it means "by appointment" (usually to a Prince or Count).  Printed mark may be found on a variety of types of articles made in Austria and Bohemia until 1918.


When a Chapter meets as a Lodge of Mark, Past, or Most Excellent Masters, the Senior Warden represents Zerubbabel, prince or governor of Judah, and is designated "king."  This is because of the rule of Persia that the High Priest should serve as the vicegerent of the king of Persia in Palestine, and the governor acted as a subordinate.  Jesjua the High Priest served as vicegerent in Palestine; Zerubbabel as prince or governor... Ezra 2:2 -  Ezra 3:1-9 - Zech. 4:1-14


Bending the knees has, in all ages of the world, been considered as an act of reverence and humility, and hence Pliny, the Roman naturalist, observes, that "a certain degree of religious reverence is attributed to the knees of man."  Solomon placed himself in this position when he prayed at the consecration of the Temple; and Freemasons use the same posture in some portions of their ceremonies, as a token of solemn reverence.  2 Chr. 6:13,14 -  Matt. 17:14,15 -  Rom. 14:11

Knee to Knee

When, in his devotions to the Grand Architect of the Universe, he seeks forgiveness for the past and strength for the future, the Freemason is taught that he should, in all these offices of prayer, join his brother's name with his own.  The prerogative that Job, in his blindness, thought was denied to him, when he exclaimed, "Oh that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbor!" is here not only taught as a right, but inculcated as a duty; and the knee is directed to be bent in intercession, not for ourselves alone, but for the whole household of our Brethren.

Knife and Fork Degree

This is a sarcastic term used of those Masons who take more delight in the banquet and other festivities of the Lodge than they do in its more serious labors.

Knight Commander of the Court of Honor or K.C.C.H.

The Court of Honor is an honorary body between the Thirty Second and the Thirty Third Degrees of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.  It was established to confer honor on certain Brethren whose zeal and work for the Scottish Rite Freemasonry entitled them to recognition.  This Court of Honor is composed of all Thirty Third Degree Masons, whether active or honorary, and also such Thirty Second Degree Masons as the Supreme Council may select.  In the Court of Honor there are two ranks, that of Knight Commander and that of Grand Cross.  Only three Grand Crosses can be selected at each regular session of the Supreme Council.  Each active Thirty Third Degree member may nominate one Thirty Second Degree member for the honor and decoration of Knight Commander.  In addition, he is entitled to nominate for this honor one Thirty Second Degree member for every forty Fourteenth Degree Masons made in his Jurisdiction since the preceding regular session of the Supreme Council.  The rank of Knight Commander or Grand Cross cannot be applied for, and if applied for, must be refused.  The Court of Honor assembles as a body when called together by the Grand Commander, and is presided over by the Grand Cross named by the Grand Commander.

Knights Templar

The piety or superstition of the age had induced multitudes of pilgrims in the eleventh and twelfth centuries to visit Jerusalem for the purpose of offering their devotions at the sepulcher of the Lord and the other holy places in that city.  Many of these religious wanderers were weak or aged, almost all of them unarmed, and thousands of them were subjected to insult, to pillage, and often to death, inflicted by the hordes of Arabs who, even after the capture of Jerusalem by the Christians, continued to infest the sea coast of Palestine and the roads to the capitol.  To protect the pious pilgrims thus exposed to plunder and bodily outrage, nine French knights, the followers of Baldwyn, united, in the year 1118, in a military confraternity or brotherhood in arms, and entered into a solemn compact to aid each other in clearing the roads, and defending the pilgrims in their passage to the holy city.  Uniting the monastic with the military character, they took, in the presence of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, the usual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and with great humility assumed the title Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ.  Their story is told well in the John J. Robinson book, Born in Blood, a review of which can be read here.


In the dualism of Freemasonry, knowledge is symbolized by light, as ignorance is by darkness.  To be initiated, to receive light is to acquire knowledge; and the cry of the neophyte for light is the natural aspiration of the soul for knowledge.  Prov. 8:10 -  Prov. 22:17


The sacred book of the Mohammedans, and believed by them to contain a record of the revelations made by God to Mohammed, and afterward dictated by him to an amanuensis, since the prophet could neither read or write.  In a Lodge consisting wholly of Mohammedans, the Koran would be esteemed as the Book of Law, and take the place on the altar which is occupied in Christian Lodges by the Bible.

Knight York Cross of Honor or K.Y.C.H.

Elected by ballot after nomination from other holders of the K.Y.C.H. at one of their regular meetings. To be qualified you have to have been installed as and some say:  "served as... not just installed" as a:  (1.) Worshipful Master of a Masonic Blue Lodge.  (2.) Excellent High priest of a Royal Arch Chapter.  (3.) Illustrious Master of a Council of Royal and Select Master or Council of Cryptic Masons.  (4.) Eminent Commander of a Commandery of Knights Templar.  Add up the number of required years to be the head of each of the above four bodies and that is how long it would take to have the K.Y.C.H., if you were ever elected to receive it.

The crown in their jewel is for dedicating your life to the service God and Man as any true leader or (KING) would under the eye of GOD.  The four emblems representing the four Masonic bodies which compose the York Rite of Freemasonry. The Masonic Lodge, Royal Arch Chapter, Council of Royal and Select Masters, and Knights Templar.   The four color four ribbon cord representing the colors of the four orders are symbolic of:  Blue: Masonic Lodge;  Red: Royal Arch Chapter;  Purple: Cryptic Masons; and White: Knights Templars.  The rays representing the ever giving flow of light and knowledge by service to the orders and mankind. The quadrant with the appropriate color for the body served.  EXAMPLE

Know Thyself

The Ancient Greek aphorism "Know thyself", Greek: γνῶθι σεαυτόν, English phonetics pronunciation: gnōthi seauton (also ... σαυτόν ... sauton with the ε contracted), was inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to the Greek periegetic (travelogue) writer Pausanias (10.24.1).  The maxim, or aphorism, "Know Thyself" has had a variety of meanings attributed to it in literature. The Suda, a tenth century encyclopedia of Greek Knowledge, says: "the proverb is applied to those whose boasts exceed what they are," and that "know thyself" is a warning to pay no attention to the opinion of the multitude.


Click here to return to the Glossary Index




Museum Home Page     Phoenixmasonry Home Page

Copyrighted 1999 - 2019   Phoenixmasonry, Inc.      The Fine Print