put up dukes

put up (one's) dukes

old-fashioned To raise one's fists in preparation for a fight. Often said as a command. I put up my dukes, expecting him to strike me at any moment. I ain't gonna let nobody insult my good character—come on and put up your dukes!
See also: duke, put, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

put up one's dukes

Fig. to be prepared to fight. He's telling you to put up your dukes. Put up your dukes and be a man!
See also: duke, put, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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