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See also: Dudgeon


Etymology 1[edit]

Origin uncertain:

  • Perhaps the same as Etymology 2, below
  • Perhaps from Welsh dygen (anger, grudge) (from dy- + cwyn (complaint)), though the OED rejects this.
  • Possibly from dudgen (trash, something worthless).
  • Possibly borrowed from Italian aduggiare (to overshadow), similar to the semantic development of umbrage.[1]


dudgeon (uncountable)

  1. A feeling of anger or resentment.
    • 1818, John Keats, “The Gadfly”, in Letter to Tom Keats:
      All gentle folks who owe a grudge / To any living thing, / Open your ears and stay your trudge / Whilst I in dudgeon sing.
    • 1835, William Gilmore Simms, The Partisan, Harper, Chapter XVIII, page 224:
      To crown his discontent, his approach was utterly unnoticed by that capricious damsel. He dashed away in dudgeon from the house at an early hour, certainly less regretted by the maid than by the master of the inn.
    • 1912, George Bernard Shaw, “Act IV”, in Pygmalion[1]:
      HIGGINS [] You may take the whole damned houseful if you like. Except the jewels. They're hired. Will that satisfy you? [He turns on his heel and is about to go in extreme dudgeon.]
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter XI:
      [...] with girls of high and haughty spirit you have to watch your step, especially if they have red hair, like Bobbie. If they think you're talking out of turn, dudgeon ensues, and dudgeon might easily lead her to reach for the ginger ale bottle and bean me with it.
    • 2020 May 30, Michael M. Grynbaum; Annie Karni; Jeremy W. Peters, “What Top Conservatives Are Saying About George Floyd and Police Brutality”, in The New York Times[2], ISSN 0362-4331:
      In her typical appearances on Fox News, Jeanine Pirro, a former Republican district attorney, reserves her highest dudgeon for castigating liberals and lamenting the demise of law and order.
Usage notes[edit]

Usually found only in set terms, see below.

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Middle English dogeon, apparently from Anglo-Norman or Middle French, but the ultimate origin is obscure. Compare French douve (stave).


  • IPA(key): /ˈdʌdʒən/
    • (file)


dudgeon (plural dudgeons)

  1. (obsolete) A kind of wood used especially in the handles of knives; the root of the box tree.
    • 1597, John Gerard, Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes:
      Turners and Cutlers, if I mistake not the matter, doe call this wood Dudgeon, wherewith they make Dudgeon hafted daggers.
  2. (obsolete) A hilt made of this wood.
  3. (archaic) A dagger which has a dudgeon hilt.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “dudgeon”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Further reading[edit]