Meaning of darbies in English:


Pronunciation /ˈdɑːbɪz/

plural noun

archaic, informal
  • Handcuffs.

    • ‘The quality of their handcuffs is quite close to darbies that have been made in Great Britain - the fine workmanship differs significantly from the crude stuff that comes from India.’
    • ‘The great escapist simply banged the darbies on the pillar and walked off.’
    • ‘When he conned Scotland Yard detectives into trying their "darbies" (handcuffs), they locked Houdini's arms around a stone pillar and left him to suffer.’
    shackles, manacles, handcuffs, irons, leg irons, chains, bonds


Late 17th century allusive use of Father Darby's bands, a rigid form of agreement which put debtors in the power of moneylenders, possibly from the name of a 16th-century usurer.