1. a small, pointed instrument for making holes in cloth, leather, etc.
  2. a long pinshaped instrument used by women to fasten up the hair.
  3. a blunt, needlelike instrument for drawing tape, cord, etc., through a loop, hem, or the like.
  4. Obsolete. a small dagger; stiletto.


  1. a blunt large-eyed needle used esp for drawing tape through openwork
  2. archaic a dagger
  3. printing a pointed steel tool used for extracting characters when correcting metal type
  4. archaic a long ornamental hairpin

late 14c., boydekin, of unknown origin. The ending suggests a diminutive formation, and Celtic has been suggested as the source of the root.

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