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dudgeon “gouts of blood—On thy blade and,” MACBETH, ii. 1. 46. Here dudgeon means simply “haft or handle.” Gifford, speaking of the variety in the hafts of daggers, observes: “The homeliest was that à roëlles, a plain piece of wood with an orbicular rim of iron for a guard; the next, in degree, was the dudgeon, in which the wood was googed out in crooked channels, like what is now, and perhaps was then, called snail-creeping.” Note on Jonson's Works, vol. v. p. 221. In the same note dudgeon is explained“wooden;” and (not to quote writers who are less explicit on this point) Bishop Wilkins in the Alphabetical Dictionary appended to his Essay towards a Real Character, etc., 1668, gives
[Root of Box.]
—dagger, [Short Sword whose
handle is of the root of Box].” Richardson, however, denies that dudgeon means either “wooden” or “root of box,” though “the word may be applied as an epithet to the box or any other wood, to express some particular quality,” Dict. in v.

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    • William Shakespeare, Macbeth, 2.1
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