1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bodkin

BODKIN (Early Eng. boydekin, a dagger, a word of unknown origin, possibly connected with the Gaelic biodag, a short sword), a small, needle-like instrument of steel or bone with a flattened knob at one end, used in needlework. It has one or more slits or eyes, through which cord, tape or ribbon can be passed, for threading through a hem or series of loops. The word is also used of a small piercing instrument for making holes in cloth, &c.