" a cant word for a class of beggars....they travelled in patched cloaks and made artificial sores on their bodies to excite pity."
also CLAPPERDOGEN, CLAPPERDOGEON
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apparently from clapper (n.) + dudgeon hilt of a dagger:
the origin of the appellation is unknown. Collier suggests ‘from his knocking the clapdish he carried with a dudgeon’.
From: A Caveat Or Warning for Common Cursetors, Vulgarly Called Vagabonds
Set forth by Thomas Harman
From P. 26