Etymology
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hock (n.1)
"joint in the hind leg of a horse or other quadruped," corresponding to the ankle-joint in man, mid-15c., earlier hockshin (late 14c.), from Old English hohsinu "sinew of the heel, Achilles' tendon," literally "heel sinew," from Old English hoh "heel" (in compounds, such as hohfot "heel"), from Proto-Germanic *hanhaz (source also of German Hachse "hock," Old English hæla "heel"), from PIE *kenk- (3) "heel, bend of the knee" (see heel (n.1)).
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hock (n.2)
"Rhenish wine," 1620s, shortening of Hockamore, a corrupt Englishing of German Hochheimer, "(wine) of Hochheim" (literally "high-home"), town on the Main where wine was made; sense extended to German white wines in general.
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hock (n.3)

"pawn, debt," 1859, American English, in hock, which meant both "in debt" and "in prison," from Dutch hok "jail, pen, doghouse, hutch, hovel," in slang use, "credit, debt."

When one gambler is caught by another, smarter than himself, and is beat, then he is in hock. Men are only caught, or put in hock, on the race-tracks, or on the steamboats down South. ... Among thieves a man is in hock when he is in prison. [G.W. Matsell, "Vocabulum," 1859]
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hock (v.)
"to pawn," 1878, from hock (n.3). Related: Hocked; hocking.
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jamb (n.)
side-piece of an opening of a door, window, etc., early 14c., from Old French jambe "pier, side post of a door," originally "a leg, shank" (12c.), from Late Latin gamba "leg, (horse's) hock" (see gambol).
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gambol (n.)

"frolic, merrymaking," 1590s, earlier gambolde "a skipping, a leap or spring" (1510s), from French gambade (15c.), from Late Latin gamba "horse's hock or leg," from Greek kampē "a bending" (on notion of "a joint"); see campus. Ending altered perhaps by confusion with formerly common ending -aud, -ald (as in ribald).

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bough (n.)
Old English bog "shoulder, arm," extended in Old English to "twig, branch of a tree" (compare limb (n.1)), from Proto-Germanic *bogaz (source also of Old Norse bogr "shoulder," Old High German buog "upper part of the arm or leg," German Bug "shoulder, hock, joint"), from PIE root *bhagu- "arm" (source also of Sanskrit bahus "arm," Armenian bazuk, Greek pakhys "forearm"). The "limb of a tree" sense is peculiar to English.
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spavin (n.)

disease of the hock joint of a horse, early 15c., from Old French espavain (Modern French épavin, cognate with Italian spavenio, Spanish esparavan); in most sources said to be perhaps from Frankish *sparwan "sparrow" (see sparrow), on the supposition that a horse affected with spavin moved with a walk that reminded people of the bird's awkward gait. This seems a stretcher, and Century Dictionary admits it rests on mere resemblance of form. Related: Spavined (adj.).

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heel (n.1)

"back of the foot," Old English hela, from Proto-Germanic *hanhilon (source also of Old Norse hæll, Old Frisian hel, Dutch hiel), from PIE *kenk- (3) "heel, bend of the knee" (source also of Old English hoh "hock").

Meaning "back of a shoe or boot" is c. 1400. Down at heels (1732) refers to heels of boots or shoes worn down and the owner too poor to replace them. For Achilles' heel "only vulnerable spot" see Achilles. To fight with (one's) heels (fighten with heles) in Middle English meant "to run away."

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