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(idiomatic) To raise one's clenched fists in front of one's body and stand in a threatening or defiant manner, in preparation for a fistfight.
(idiomatic, by extension) To take firm action or to show oneself to be committed to such action, as when competing in a sporting event or other contest.
Possibly by analogy to a king or other ruler summoning his dukes, and by extension the duke's knights or other soldiers, to battle an enemy. Or possibly Cockney rhyming slang (see duke).
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