1640s as a decorative addition to a sleeve; 1690s as a type of restraining device, from hand (n.) + cuff (n.) in the "fetter for the wrist" sense (attested from 1660s). Old English had hondcops "a pair of hand cuffs," but the modern word is a re-invention. Related: Handcuffs. The verb is first attested 1720. Related: Handcuffed; handcuffing.