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Ale-dagger (An)

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A dagger used in self-defence in ale-house brawls.

“He that drinkes with cutlers must not be without his ale-dagger.” (1589). (See N. E. D.)


Pierce Pennilesse says:—“All that will not … weare ale-house daggers at your backes [should abstain from taverns].”—See Shakespeare Society, p. 55.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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