Etymology
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Lakshmi 
Hindu goddess of beauty, said to be from Sanskrit lakshmi "mark, fortune, riches, beauty."
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la-la 
syllables used to make nonsense refrains in songs; compare Old English la, a common exclamation; but la-la is imitative of babbling speech in many languages: Greek lalage "babble, prattle," Sanskrit lalalla as an imitation of stammering, Latin lallare "to sing to sleep, lull," German lallen "to stammer," Lithuanian laluoti "to stammer."
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lallygag (v.)
"waste time, dilly-dally," 1862, American English; a variant of lollygag. Related: Lallygagged; lallygagging.
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lam (v.)
also lamm, "to thrash, beat," 1590s, a slang, provincial or colloquial word, probably from Old Norse lemja "to beat," literally "to lame," which is cognate with the native verb lame (see lame (adj.)). Related: Lammed; lamming.
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lam (n.)
"flight, escape," as in on the lam, 1928, in pickpocket slang, (according to OED attested from 1897 in do a lam), from a U.S. slang verb meaning "to run off" (1886), of uncertain origin, but perhaps from lam (v.), which was used in British student slang for "to beat" since 1590s (compare lambaste); if so, the word has the same etymological sense as the slang expression beat it.
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lama (n.)
"Buddhist priest of Mongolia or Tibet," 1650s, according to OED from Tibetan blama "chief, high priest," with silent b-. Related: Lamaism; lamarchy. Lamasery "Buddhist monastery" (1849) is from French lamaserie, perhaps a word invented in French, as if from Persian sarai "an inn" (see caravanserai).
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Lamarckian (adj.)
"pertaining to the theories or work of French botanist and zoologist Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet de Lamarck" (1744-1829). Originally (1825) in reference to his biological classification system. He had the insight, before Darwin, that all plants and animals are descended from a common primitive life-form. But in his view the process of evolution included the inheritance of characteristics acquired by the organism by habit, effort, or environment. The word typically refers to this aspect of his theory, which was long maintained in some quarters but has since been rejected.
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Lamaze (adj.)
in reference to a method of childbirth technique, 1957, named for French obstetrician Dr. Fernand Lamaze (1891-1957), who promoted his methods of "psycho-prophylaxis," a form of childbirth preparation he had studied in the Soviet Union, in the West in the early 1950s.
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lamb (n.)

Old English lamb, lomb, Northumbrian lemb "lamb," from Proto-Germanic *lambaz (source also of Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Gothic lamb, Middle Dutch, Dutch lam, Middle High German lamp, German Lamm "lamb"). Common to the Germanic languages, but with no certain cognates outside them. The -b has probably been silent since 13c.

The Old English plural was sometimes lambru. A symbol of Christ (Lamb of God), typified by the paschal lamb, from late Old English. Applied to gentle or innocent persons (especially young Church members) from late Old English; from mid-15c. of persons easy to cheat ("fleece"). Also sometimes used ironically for cruel or rough characters (such as Kirke's Lambs in Monmouth's rebellion, 1684-86, "an ironical allusion to the device of the Paschal Lamb on their flag" [OED]); Farmer and Henley ("Slang and Its Analogues") say "specifically applied to Nottingham roughs, and hence to bludgeon men at elections." Diminutive form lambie is attested from 1718. Lamb's-wool is from 1550s as a noun, 1825 (also lambswool) as an adjective.

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lambada (n.)
type of sensual Brazilian dance, 1988, from Portuguese, said in some sources to mean literally "a beating, a lashing." But others [Watkins] connect it ultimately to Latin lumbus "loin" (see lumbo-).
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