Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Bodkin.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
When he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin. (Hamlet, iii. 1). A stiletto worn by ladies in the hair, not a dagger. In the Seven Champions, Castria took her silver bodkin from her hair, and stabbed to death first her sister and then herself. Praxida stabbed herself in a similar manner. Shakespeare could not mean that a man might kill himself with a naked dagger, but that even a hair-pin would suffice to give a man his quietus.   1



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