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akimbo

[uh-kim-boh] /əˈkɪm boʊ/
adjective, adverb
1.
with hand on hip and elbow bent outward:
to stand with arms akimbo.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English in kenebowe < Old Norse *i keng boginn bent into a crook (i in, keng accusative of kengr hook, boginn past participle of bjūga to bend)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for akimbo
  • Sensing our presence, he whipped around to face us, stood up tall on all his legs and thrust his claws out akimbo.
  • Placed on top was a primitive wooden statue of the general himself, left arm akimbo and eyes fixed on uptown.
  • In their recessional, the couple broke out of their adult stride and into a childlike skip, arms akimbo.
  • Charred timbers akimbo inside the crumbling structural shell.
British Dictionary definitions for akimbo

akimbo

/əˈkɪmbəʊ/
adjective, adverb
1.
arms akimbo, with arms akimbo, with hands on hips and elbows projecting outwards
Word Origin
C15 in kenebowe, literally: in keen bow, that is, in a sharp curve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for akimbo

c.1400, in kenebowe, of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle English phrase in keen bow "at a sharp angle," or from a Scandinavian word akin to Icelandic kengboginn "bow-bent," but this seems not to have been used in this exact sense. Many languages use a teapot metaphor for this, such as French faire le pot a deux anses "to play the pot with two handles."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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14
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