Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bracelets n.

also two-hand bracelet

(orig. UK Und.) handcuffs; thus braceleted, handcuffed.

[UK]Head Eng. Rogue I 371: Fetters confined my legs from stragling, and bracelets were clapt upon my arms.
[UK](con. 1715) W.H. Ainsworth Jack Sheppard (1917) 125: I’ll soon free you from these bracelets. [Ibid.] 126: The sheriff’s black bracelets lay strewn on the ground.
[US]‘Ned Buntline’ Mysteries and Miseries of N.Y. III 58: Not if ye call carryin’ the bracelets workin’ in iron, Bill!
[US](con. 1843) Melville White-Jacket (1990) 188: The master-at-arms, who was merely cashiered, and imprisoned for a time, with bracelets at his wrists.
[UK]Huddersfield Chron. 23 Oct. 4/5: Passing along New-street [...] were to be seen [...] two females handcuffed together — and two policemen [...] one each side of the manacled women! Now the resort in this instance to the ‘iron-bracelet’ as the police reproachfully designate the handcuff [etc].
[US]J.T. Trowbridge Cudjo’s Cave 349: What have you got those bracelets on for?
[US]W.H. Thomes Bushrangers 63: Doland arose from the floor in a sulky manner, and held out his hands. ‘I suppose you want to put the bracelets on me, captain.’ [...] The handcuffs closed on the man’s wrists.
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 4 Dec. 6/2: Giles either unlocked the bracelet or forced his hand through it.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 16 Sept. 6/5: Sam was at once adorned with the ‘bracelets’ by the Chief-Constable.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ Robbery Under Arms (1922) 246: I’d give me eyes to put the bracelets upon him.
[Aus]K. Mackay Out Back 279: Hold out your hands, and let me see how you like these bracelets.
[Aus]‘Rolf Boldrewood’ In Bad Company 128: I found myself in gaol pretty soon after, when it was explained to me [...] what steel bracelets were like.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 88: The big copper slipped the bracelets over the Swede’s limp wrists.
[Aus]L. Esson Woman Tamer in Ballades of Old Bohemia (1980) 65: ‘We were on a good wicket, when Pete says to his bit o’ fluff: ‘Would you like to see a real solid bracelet, duckie?’ [...] She did do a bunk.’.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard God’s Man 420: Archie’s wrists were braceleted.
[US]E.E. Cummings Enormous Room (1928) 153: Put the bracelets on an ordinary man, tell him he’s a bad egg, treat him rough, shove him into the jug or its equivalent [...] and he will become one of three animals – a rabbit, that is to say timid; a mole, that is to say stupid; or a hyena.
[UK]J. Curtis Gilt Kid 255: There was one thing for which to be thankful. They had taken off those damned bracelets.
[US]R.L. Bellem ‘Coffin for a Coward’ in Hollywood Detective Dec. [Internet] I dug out my bracelets, nippered her left wrist [and] snapped the other cuff to a heavy table-leg.
[US]R. Chandler Long Good-Bye 51: He reached behind his hip and came up with a pair of bracelets. ‘Let’s try these for size.’.
[US]G. Cuomo Among Thieves 177: The kid’s nine, and I’d just as soon his old man didn’t have to show up in bracelets.
[US]J. Wambaugh Blue Knight 301: You gonna put the bracelets back on?
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 315: Ronnie is in bracelets, still managing a smirk as the wagon man pats her down.
[UK]T. Blacker Kill Your Darlings 88: I let them see the old two-hand bracelet.
[Ire]P. Howard PS, I Scored the Bridesmaids 11: So snap the bracelets on me, roysh, and take me to see the judge.
[US]Simon & Mills ‘React Quotes’ Wire ser. 5 ep. 5 [TV script] When you put the bracelets on that bitch, remind him again of my fucking camera.
[US]G. Pelecanos (con. 1972) What It Was 102: ‘I don’t need no bracelets, Hap,’ said Coco.