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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"hands," 1874, now mainly in put up your dukes (phrase from 1859), probably not connected to duke (n.). Chapman ["Dictionary of American Slang"] suggests Romany dook "the hand as read in palmistry, one's fate;" but Partridge ["Slang To-day and Yesterday"] gives it a plausible, if elaborate, etymology as a contraction of Duke of Yorks, rhyming slang for forks, a Cockney term for "fingers," thus "hands."


n. (plural of duke English)

Dukes -- U.S. County in Massachusetts
Population (2000): 14987
Housing Units (2000): 14836
Land area (2000): 103.778855 sq. miles (268.785990 sq. km)
Water area (2000): 387.175029 sq. miles (1002.778678 sq. km)
Total area (2000): 490.953884 sq. miles (1271.564668 sq. km)
Located within: Massachusetts (MA), FIPS 25
Location: 41.414842 N, 70.612681 W
Dukes, MA
Dukes County
Dukes County, MA
Dukes (surname)

Dukes is a patronymic form of the surname Duke that originated in medieval England, of Anglo-Norman origin. The meaning is derived from son or descendant of Duke, which was originally recorded le Duc, a term used to mean "leader" before it became associated with a specific rank of the nobility. It is an uncommon name; the 2000 United States Census showed it to be the 1,577th most popular surname, while the United Kingdom Census of that same year showed it to be the 1,749th most popular.

Dukes (ward)

Dukes is a Metropolitan Borough of Sefton ward in the Southport Parliamentary constituency that covers the western part of the localities of Birkdale and Hillside in the town of Southport. The ward population taken at the 2011 census was 13,333.

Usage examples of "dukes".

Whether on this side or on that, the candidates are first looked for among the sons of Earls and Dukes,--and not unnaturally, as the sons of Earls and Dukes may be educated for such work almost from their infancy.

Many details were known, not only to the two dukes who were about to patch up the ministry between them, but to the political world at large,--and where facts upon which the newspapers were able to display their wonderful foresight and general omniscience, with their usual confidence.

By the time that the Easter holidays were over,--holidays which had been used so conveniently for the making of a new government, --the work of getting a team together had been accomplished by the united energy of the two dukes and other friends.

Mr Monk, who had consented to undertake the duties of Chancellor of the Exchequer under the urgent entreaties of the two dukes, was of course late with the budget.

He had long recognized that fact, and for a time endeavoured to believe that his intended sojourn at Gatherum Castle was not more public than are the autumn doings of other dukes and other prime ministers.

The agent hinted that times were changing, and that though dukes were still dukes, and could still exercise ducal influences, they were driven by these changes to act in an altered form.

He was wont to talk of these things to his friend Lord Cantrip, who was not a member of the Government, but who had been a colleague of both the Dukes, and whom the old Duke regarded with peculiar confidence.

She had meant to be something, she knew not what, greater than had been the wives of other Prime Ministers and other Dukes, and now she felt that in her failure she had been almost ridiculous.

Though her father had lived all his life in what is called good society, he had not consorted much with dukes and duchesses.

Borric will not speak of it, but there has long been trouble between himself and certain eastern dukes, especially his cousin, Guy du Bas-Tyra.

The magician had proven an able adviser to the dukes, and his magical aid helpful.

I think Arutha is correct in his surmise, and should the Dukes call, we should try to aid them.

But should the outworlders mount a major offensive against the Dukes they will not leave sufficient soldiers along the river to menace our forests.

But then, we dukes are all related to one another through our common ancestor the Emperor Wen.

Great King as overlord and source of legitimacy, each of these dukes has received, in theory, his authority from the son of heaven, who does not exist.