Darbies

(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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