Hello! I have been on vacation, but now I am back and hope to get moving along on this great classic book (Great Expectations by Charles Dickens) and my daily (almost daily) art.
The boy who meets Pip in the neglected garden of Miss Havisham’s house tells Pip to “come and fight”. The boy then decides to give Pip a reason to fight by pulling Pip’s hair and by butting Pip in the stomach with his head! He then leads Pip to a nook in the garden and proceeds to take off his jacket, waistcoat and shirt in order to fight Pip.
What exactly is a waistcoat? Well, it’s basically a vest. And I wonder where “put up your dukes” came from?
What we do know is that put up your dukes was known by 1874 – the first record of it that I can find in print is in John C. Hotten’s 1874 edition of A dictionary of modern slang, cant, and vulgar words:
“Dooks, or dukes, the hands, originally modification of the rhyming slang ‘Duke of Yorks,’ forks = fingers, hands… The word is in very common use among low folk. ‘Put up your dooks’ is a kind of invitation to fight.”