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Does bodkins in "odd's bodkins" mean the same as bare bodkin, which appears in Hamlet? (Other than being plural in the first example)

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3 Answers 3

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The Oxford English Dictionary defines (God's, ods) bodkins as 'God's dear body!: an oath' and shows bodikin and bodikie as alternate spellings. The Oxford English Reference, on the other hand, defines a bodkin as 'a blunt thick needle with a large eye used esp. for drawing thick tape, etc. through a hem' and various similar things. I believe that the previous poster's definition of this as 'a dagger (or its blade)' would be reasonable in the poetic context of Hamlet.

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The Maven's Word of the Day gives the following:

Odd's bodkins is a mild profane oath, which literally means 'God's dear body!' It's now archaic, but was used as an exclamation like God damn! or a host of others.

The usual form of the second word is bodikin, which is a diminutive of body (the diminutive suffix -kin is found in such other words as lambkin). The expression occurs in Shakespeare (Hamlet: "Odds bodikins, man," with a variant reading from the Quarto of "bodkin").

Then this site tells me that:

What is the "bare bodkin" referenced in "To be, or not to be?"
A dagger (or its blade).

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Um I believe that in Hamlet Shakespeare could have also been referencing the body definition. As I have heard knives described as naked blades in the case they are not covered. So Shakespeare could be saying that the body/blade of the dagger is not covered or is unsheathed.

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