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Bollock daggers

Bollock daggers

The bollock dagger or kidney dagger is a type of dagger with a distinctively shaped shaft, with two oval swellings at the guard resembling male genitalia ("bollocks"). The guard is often in one piece with the wooden grip, and reinforced on top with a shaped metal washer. The dagger was popular in Flanders, England and Scotland between the 13th and 18th centuries, and in particular the Tudor period. It was commonly carried by many Border Reivers, as a backup for the lance and the sword. A large number of such weapons were found aboard the wreck of the Mary Rose. In use, the bollock dagger was similar to the Scottish dirk.

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Bollock daggers

Bollock dagger

In the Victorian period weapon historians introduced the term kidney dagger, due to the two lobes at the guard, which could also be seen as kidney-shaped, in order to avoid sexual connotations.  The hilt was often constructed of box root (dudgeon) in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the bollock dagger was sometimes called dudgeon dagger or dudgeonhafted dagger in this period.

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