charley horse

charley horse

[chahr-lee]
noun
a painful, involuntary cramp of an arm or leg muscle resulting from excessive muscular strain or a blow.

Origin:
1885–90; orig. baseball slang

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To charley horse
Collins
World English Dictionary
charley horse (ˈtʃɑːlɪ)
 
n
informal (US), (Canadian) muscle stiffness or cramp following strenuous athletic exercise
 
[C19: of uncertain origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

charley horse
baseball players' slang, 1888, origin obscure, probably from somebody's long-forgotten lame racehorse.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

charley horse char·ley horse (chär'lē hôrs')
n.
Localized pain or stiffness in a muscle following excessive muscular exertion or the contusion of a muscle.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

charley horse

Cramp or stiffness in a muscle, most often in the thigh, as in After working in the garden I frequently get a bad charley horse. First used in the 1880s among baseball players, the term was soon extended to more general use. Its true origin is disputed. Among the more likely theories proposed is that it alludes to the name of either a horse or an afflicted ball player who limped like one of the elderly draft horses formerly employed to drag the infield.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;