- a small, pointed instrument for making holes in cloth, leather, etc.
- a long pinshaped instrument used by women to fasten up the hair.
- a blunt, needlelike instrument for drawing tape, cord, etc., through a loop, hem, or the like.
- Obsolete. a small dagger; stiletto.
Origin of bodkin
1350–1400; Middle English badeken, bo(i)dekyn, of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for bodkin
The wrench upon it had already pulled the bodkin from the wainscot.The Historical Nights Entertainment, Second Series
"Maybe we 'll get a peep at the gardens," said Bodkin, endeavoring to console them.
"Here's Scanlan now, and he 'll tell us everything," said Bodkin.
This Bodkin is a noted duellist, and will try to shake your nerve.Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2)
When they came to look for Bodkin, he had disappeared with his red roan horse.Dwellers in the Hills
Melville Davisson Post
- a blunt large-eyed needle used esp for drawing tape through openwork
- archaic a dagger
- printing a pointed steel tool used for extracting characters when correcting metal type
- archaic a long ornamental hairpin
C14: probably of Celtic origin; compare Gaelic biodag dagger
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for bodkin
late 14c., boydekin, of unknown origin. The ending suggests a diminutive formation, and Celtic has been suggested as the source of the root.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper