put up dukes
put up (one's) dukes
cliché To raise one's fists in preparation for a fight. Often said as a command, though this in itself is particularly clichéd and old-fashioned. 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!
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!