(2 syl.). Handcuffs. This is derived from “Darby and Joan,” because originally two prisoners were linked together as Darby and Joan.
“Hark ye! Jem Clink will fetch you the darbies.” —Sir W. Scott: Peveril of the Peak.
Johnny Darbies, policemen, is a perversion' of the French gensdarmes, in conjunction with the above.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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