Green’s Dictionary of Slang

duke n.3

[? rhy. sl. duke of york = fork n.1 (3); or ? Rom, dukkering, palm-reading]

1. [mid-19C+] (US, also juke) a hand, usu. in pl.; also in fig. use; thus dukefull, a handful; occas. an arm.

2. [mid-19C+] in pl., the fists.

3. [1900s–40s] (US Und.) a form of confidence game.

4. [1910s–50s] a hand of cards.

5. [1930s–70s] in boxing, a decision [the referee raises the winning boxer’s hand].

6. [1940s] (US black) in pl., knees.

7. [1950s] the bill, usu. in a restaurant.

In compounds

duke player (n.)

[1930s] (US Und.) a gambler who cheats at cards.

In phrases

blow the duke (v.) [fig. use of sense 3 above]

[1960s–70s] to make a complete mess of something.

crop someone’s duke (v.)

[1910s] (US Und.) to read an opponent’s cards by some form of fraud.

get some duke (v.) [i.e. get one’s hands on someone]

1. [1970s+] of a male homosexual, to have anal intercourse.

2. to have sexual intercourse.

3. [1980s] (US black/prison) of a man, to have sexual intercourse with a man who, at least while in prison, is posing (and poss. dressing) as a woman.

grease someone’s duke (v.) [late 19C]

1. to hand over money.

2. to give a bribe.

hot duke (v.)

[1970s+] (Aus.) to fool, to take advantage of by trickery.

put up one’s dukes (v.)

[late 19C+] to (prepare to) fight.

read the dukes (v.)

[1910s] (US Und.) to work as a palm-reader.

tip one’s duke (v.)

[1910s] (US Und.) to reveal one’s intentions.