Still reading Malory.
A perplexing question: Why do all these kniggits never recognize one another? Of course, they're wearing armour...but please...give me a break here. They can be in the same room (or dungeon) and still not know each other. Sir Palomides & Sir Tristram have met and fought several times, and still they can't seem to put the names & faces together.
Meanwhile, they're all idiots. I just read a passage where Sir Tristram jousts, then fights, with Sir Lancelot. For four hours! Both of them are bleeding all over the countryside. Finally, Sir Lancelot says, "Hey buddy, what's yer name?" Tristram says, "Not telling!" Lancelot says, "Hey, come on, I always tell my name when somebody asks." Tristram says, "OK, what's yer name?" Lancelot says, "Lancelot." Tristram says, "Oh my God, you mean to tell me I've been fighting with you for four hours, and now I find out that it's the kniggit I love most in the whole world?"
(If this were Monty Python, the next part would go like this: Tristram: "Did I hurt you?" Lancelot: "Don't be silly, it's only a flesh wound!")
All this mistaken identity leads me to believe they were called knights errant because they erred so often.