What is the meaning of ‘akimbo’?

First, let’s deal with the pronunciation. The ‘a’ sounds like the ‘a’ in ‘china’; the following syllable is pronounced like the name ‘Kim’. The final ‘bo’ rhymes with ‘so’ and ‘no’, and the stress is on the second syllable ‘kim’. The word is mainly used to refer to one’s arm position. When you stand with your arms akimbo, you have your hands on your hips and the arms are spread out with the elbows pointing outwards. It is a posture that generally indicates impatience, hostility, or contempt.

*The principal stood, arms akimbo, glaring at the students.*Standing behind the sofa with arms akimbo, Sheel told the painter what to do.

Source: ‘Know Your English’ ( The Hindu) – July 23, 2007



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