First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Bodkin

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Bodkin mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Bodkin

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Bod"kin
  1. A dagger.(Obs)"When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin." [Shak.]
  2. [Needlework] An implement of steel, bone, ivory, etc., with a sharp point, for making holes by piercing; a stiletto; an eyeleteer.
  3. [Print] A sharp tool, like an awl, used for picking out letters from a column or page in making corrections.
  4. A kind of needle with a large eye and a blunt point, for drawing tape, ribbon, etc., through a loop or a hem; a tape needle."Wedged whole ages in a bodkin's eye." [Pope.]
  5. A kind of pin used by women to fasten the hair.

Etymology: OE. boydekyn dagger; of uncertain origin; cf. W. bidog hanger, short sword, Ir. bideog, Gael. biodag

noun Bod"kin
See Baudekin.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A blunt needle for threading ribbon through loops
  2. A small sharp-pointed tool for punching holes in leather or fabric
  3. Formerly a long hairpin; usually with an ornamental head
  4. A dagger with a slender blade

From Middle English boydekin (“dagger”), apparently from *boyde, *boide (of unknown origin) +‎ -kin. Cognate with Scots botkin, boitkin, boikin (“bodkin”).

  1. A small sharp pointed tool for making holes in cloth or leather.
  2. A blunt needle used for threading ribbon or cord through a hem or casing.
  3. A hairpin.
  4. A dagger.
  5. A type of long thin arrowhead.
  6. (printing) A sharp tool, like an awl, formerly used for picking up letters from a column or page in making corrections.

Notable Persons With the Last Name Bodkin

Matthias McDonnell Bodkin was an author, journalist, newspaper editor, county court judge, barrister, queen's counsel, member of parliament, king's counsel, and mp. Matthias was born on October 8th, 1850. He died on June 7th, 1933.


Thomas Patrick Bodkin was a lawyer, history of art, curator, and art historian. Thomas was born as the child of Matthias McDonnell Bodkin on July 21st, 1887 in Dublin. He died on April 24th, 1961.



Matt Bodkin is a soccer player for the Maidstone United F.C., Nottingham Forest F.C., Gillingham F.C., Welling United F.C., Grays Athletic F.C., Thurrock F.C., Dartford F.C., Eastleigh F.C., Dover Athletic F.C., and Margate F.C. Matt was born on September 16th, 1983 in Chatham, England.


Archibald was born in 1862. He left this life on December 31st, 1957.



Where is the name Bodkin popular?

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Popularity of Bodkin as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Bodkin as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in New York, West Virginia, or Pennsylvania.

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Bodkin U.S.
  White 90.79% 64.26%
  African American 4.15% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.00% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 0.91% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 3.41% 16.26%

Of Last Name Bodkin

People with the last name Bodkin are most frequently White

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Bodkin

  • How Popular is the name Bodkin? As a last name Bodkin was the 16,370th most popular name in 2010.
  • When was the first name Bodkin first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Bodkin is Monday, May 25th, 1936.
  • How unique is the name Bodkin? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Bodkin. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
  • Weird things about the name Bodkin: Your name in reverse order is Nikdob. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Iobndk. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Bodkin? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 1,759 people with the last name Bodkin.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Bodkin? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Bodkin as their last name since less than 1 person in 167k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.