Augustus Frederick (1763-1820) became the Duke of York by royal appointment. Although he was the second son of England's George III, he stood little chance of becoming king. As commander-in-chief of the army, he lost the battles he waged. His interests were many and varied, but none centered on military activities. His favorite pastime was pugilism. Did his devotion to matters of the ring lead boxers to name their fists dukes?
   Phrase sleuths have come up with several other theories, all of which are unrelated and remain what they are, pure conjecture. In Cockney slang, "forks" was associated with fingers, and fingers with "hands," and hands can become "fists." So remembering the duke's interest in fisticuffs, "put up your fists" became "put up your dukes." Another ingenious idea refers to the magnitude of the Duke of Wellington's nose: His troops dubbed their fists duke busters, which eventually was reduced to dukes.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • Dukes — may refer to:* Dukes (band), a rock group from New Zealand * Dukes, a brand of skate shoe * The Dukes of Stratosphear, a pseudonym used by the British rock band XTC * Albuquerque Dukes, a former Triple A Baseball team * The Dukes of Hazzard , an… …   Wikipedia

  • Dukes — (Паралион Астрос,Греция) Категория отеля: Адрес: Paralio Astros, Паралион Астрос, 22001, Греция …   Каталог отелей

  • dukes — hands, 1874, now mainly in put up your dukes (phrase from 1859), probably not connected to DUKE (Cf. duke) (n.). Chapman [ Dictionary of American Slang ] suggests Romany dook the hand as read in palmistry, one s fate; but Partridge [ Slang To day …   Etymology dictionary

  • Dukes — (spr. Djuhks), Grafschaft des Staates Massachusetts (Nordamerika), besteht aus den im Atlantischen Ocean liegenden Inseln: Marthas Vineyard, Chippiquiddic, No Mans Land u. der Gruppe der Elisabethinseln mit einem Gesammtflächenraum von 5,50 QM.,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Dukes — Dukes, Leopold, jüd. Schriftsteller, geb. 17. Jan. 1810 in Preßburg, gest. 3. Aug. 1891 in Wien, wo er als Privatgelehrter wirkte, hat die jüdische Literatur durch eine Menge großenteils aus handschriftlichem Material geschöpfter Abhandlungen,… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dukes — Dieser Artikel oder Abschnitt ist nicht hinreichend mit Belegen (Literatur, Webseiten oder Einzelnachweisen) versehen. Die fraglichen Angaben werden daher möglicherweise demnächst gelöscht. Hilf Wikipedia, indem du die Angaben recherchierst und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • dukes — 1. n. the fists. □ Okay, brother, put your dukes up. □ The guy’s got dukes like hams. 2. n. the knees. D He went down on his dukes and prayed for all sorts of good stuff. □ He cracked one of his dukes on the railing …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

  • Dukes — This interesting name has two possible origins, the first of which is derived from the Middle English duk(e) , duke, also found as douk, duc, doke , and developed from the Old French duc , in the sense of the leader of an army, captain, derived… …   Surnames reference

  • dukes — n. (colloq.) fists to put up one s dukes * * * (colloq.) [ fists ] to put up one s dukes …   Combinatory dictionary

  • dukes — n pl American fists. This has been part of the jargon of streetfighters and pugilists since the turn of the 20th century. It originates either in the rhyming slang Duke of York: fork, i.e. a hand or finger, or from a Romany word meaning palm or… …   Contemporary slang

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