Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: August ::
Ods Bodkins
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0592.  Thursday, 2 August 1996.

From:           Jacob Goldberg <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 2 Aug 1996 00:13:17 -0400
Subject:        Ods Bodkins!

I received the following notices from a member of a horn group, who also has a
strong interest in  Gilbert and Sullivan and thought it might be interesting to
SHAKSPEReans.

Jacob Goldberg


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
To: Multiple recipients of list <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Subject: Re: Ods Bodkins

A while back, somebody wanted to know what Ods Bodkins, as it appears in Yeomen
of the Guard, means.  I finally heard from my Shakespeare expert, who writes:

Ods Bodkins (or Bodykins) -- Od is an abbreviation of God  ('od), and a bodkin
is a sharp instrument used for piercing, like a dagger.  So literally, it's
"God's daggers."

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Tom Durrie <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
To: Multiple recipients of list <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Subject: Re: Ods Bodkins

I'll have to disagree with your expert on this.  My understanding is that Od's
Bodkins (or, more properly, bodykins) is a "nice" way of saying "God's body!"
as on oath or expletive.  Similar to "Sblood" (HAMLET) meaning "God's blood"  I
think these were sort of like saying "Darn" instead of "Damn" or, as in
Pinafore "Damme" rather than the much tougher "Damn me" (I'll be damned!)
Cheers,  Tom Durrie

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Meredith Dixon <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
To: Multiple recipients of list <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Subject: Re: Ods Bodkins

No, it's not that "bodkins" is an abbreviation of "bodykins"; it's that
"bodkins" is a politer "play" on "body"; the same sort of thing that people of
Cole Porter's era did a lot (e.g. "She got pinched in the As...tor bar") So Ms.
Dickey's correspondent is right about the phrase's literal meaning, and Mr.
Durrie is right about the phrase's intent.

Meredith Dixon

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Richard Rostrom <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
To: Multiple recipients of list <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Subject: Re: Ods Bodkins

No: a bodkin is a pin, spike, or dagger (e.g. Hamlet's "bare bodkin").

"Ods bodkins" is the same as "God's nails" - the spikes with
which Jesus was crucified - also known for some reason as "God's
hooks", whence "Gadzooks".

Rich Rostrom

 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.