Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Knuckle-duster.

 Knox’s Croft,Knuckle Under (To). 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Knuckle-duster.
 
A metal instrument which is fitted to a man’s fist, and may be readily used in self-defence by striking a blow. Sometimes these instruments are armed with spikes. It was an American invention, and was used in England in defence against the infamous attacks of Spring-heel Jack. We have the phrase “To dust your jacket for you,” meaning to “beat you,” as men dust carpets by beating them.   1
 


 Knox’s Croft,Knuckle Under (To). 

 
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