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Put Up Your Dukes

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“Put up your dukes!” means “Get ready to fight!” But its etymology is a bit uncertain. One story goes that it’s from Cockney rhyming slang, in which dukes is short for Dukes of York, a play on the slang term fork, meaning “hand.” But the phrase more likely originated from or was influenced by a Romany word involving hands. This is part of a complete episode.

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