from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An iron bar fitting around the ankles of prisoners, and having sliding shackles.


Origin unknown. (Wiktionary)


  • So they seized him and laid him in bilboes all that night till the morning, when they carried him and the basket, as it was, to the King and reported the case.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • So the Governor took him out of jail and carried him to the Court (he being still in bilboes) and, approaching the Caliph, kissed ground before him.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • So the Caliph bade lay him in bilboes and write thereon, “Appointed to remain here until death and not to be loosed but on the corpse washer’s bench;” and they cast him fettered into limbo.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Kamakim, the arch-thief, who lieth chained in jail and on his bilboes is written, ‘Appointed to remain till death’; so do thou don thy richest clothes and trick thee out with thy finest jewels and present thyself to thy husband with an open face and smiling mien; and when he seeketh of thee what men seek of women, put him off and baulk him of his will and say, ‘By

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • The old-fashioned arrangement of iron bars called the "bilboes" was fastened to the bulkhead at the bow end of the alleyway.

    The Black Buccaneer

  • Would he feel obliged to put him in bilboes and bring him to court-martial, or could he just feed him to the sharks the crew won't say nothin', or what?

    The pirate smiles the fabulous smile of celebrity.

  • So Nur al-Din abode awhile, eating and drinking and making merry and bidding and forbidding those who tended the horses; and whoso neglected or failed to fodder those tied up in the stable wherein was his service, he would thrown down and beat with grievous beating and lay him by the legs in bilboes of iron.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Nor, indeed, had Sharrkan himself been here this night and it were said to him, ‘Clear this stream,’ could he have done it; and I only long and lust that the Messiah would throw him into my hands in this very convent, that I might go forth to him in the habit of a man and drag him from his saddle seat and make him my captive and lay him in bilboes. —

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Proper chains, that is, not the darbies used by the A Division peelers to restrain obstreperous revellers, but your genuine bilboes.

    Flashman on the March

  • Being answered, “Ey, ey, safe enough to see you made fast in the bilboes, brother”; he told the captain he had something of consequence to communicate for his advantage; and proposed that Crowe and Crabshaw should bail the action, which lay only for a debt of three pounds.

    The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves


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  • Set me free!

    March 25, 2010

  • JM remains unfettered by certain bilboes yet strangely attached to others.

    March 25, 2010

  • Youbetchabygollywow!

    June 30, 2009

  • interested bilby?

    June 30, 2009

  • (n. pl): a pair of ankle cuffs used in prisons and sailing ships to confine prisoners, aslo used to confine lawbreakers for public exposure, punishment, and humiliation.

    June 29, 2009