I can clearly recall my Mother describing some particular tool, cooking tongs, hanging with arms akimbo. I’ve used that expression many times especially in relation to blacksmith tongs. I don’t like them to hang that way so I pay attention to making them with the reins coming off the box at an offset and angle which lets them hang straight down and not sticking out “arms akimbo.”
After trying to find a source on the web which verified the use of the term in the manner I was using it I was disappointed. The term seems to be highly specific to the human posture of standing with elbows crooked so the hands rest on the hips. There was one reference to it meaning using a weapon in each hand in a computer game. I didn’t find anything related to a tool hanging with arms diverging.
I did happen to turn up some images I took at ABANA LaCrosse in 2002. One showed a person standing with arms akimbo. Actually, it is a photo of Maegan Crowley and Corinna Mensoff demonstrating. That gives me the opportunity to point to web links to these two very talented artists.
I’ll probably just keep using akimbo in the same non-approved way I always have, at least in my mind. Who knows maybe it will even catch on. That’s one way language changes.
|Tongs hanging with reins "akimbo."|
|Corrina and Maegan at ABANA LaCrosse in 2002.|