Origin of akimboMiddle English in kenebowe, literally , in keen bow, that is , in a sharp curve; a folk etymology from Old Norse kengboginn, bow-bent ; from keng, bent + bogi, a bow
- Placed in such a way as to have the hands on the hips and the elbows bowed outward: children standing with arms akimbo.
- Being in a bent, bowed, or arched position: “There he remained, dead to the world, limbs akimbo, until we left” (Alex Shoumatoff).
Origin of akimboMiddle English in kenebowe (perhaps originally “in jug-handles, bent like the handles of a jug” ) : in, in; see in1 + kenebowe (kene- perhaps from or akin to Old French chane, kane, quenne, jug, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle English canne, jar, pot; see can2 + bowe, bow, bend; see bow3).
- Almost always used after the noun modified.
- Into, in, or of the position where the arms are akimbo.
- The man was standing akimbo.
From Middle English in kenebowe, in kene bowe (“in a keen bow", i.e. "in a sharp bend or angle”), from in (“in”) + keen, kene (“brave, keen, sharp”) + bowe (“bow, bend”). Alternately, possibly from Old Norse keng (“bent”) + bogi (“a bow”), compare Icelandic kengboginn (“bow-bent”).