1560s, probably from It. maneggiare "to handle," esp. "to control a horse," from L. manus "hand" (see manual). Influenced by Fr. manège "horsemanship" (earliest English sense was of handling horses), which also was from the Italian. Extended to other objects or business from 1570s. Slang sense of "get by" first recorded 1650s. Related: Managed; managing.