Etymology
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limber (v.)
"make pliant or supple," 1748, from limber (adj.). Related: Limbered; limbering. With up (adv.) by 1901. The military sense "attach a limber to a gun" (1783) is from limber (n.).
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limber (adj.)
"pliant, flexible," 1560s, of uncertain origin, possibly from limb (n.1) on notion of supple boughs of a tree [Barnhart], or from limp (adj.) "flaccid" [Skeat], or somehow from Middle English lymer "shaft of a cart" (see limber (n.)), but the late appearance of the -b- in that word argues against it. Related: Limberness. Dryden used limber-ham (see ham (n.1) in the "joint" sense) as a name for a character "perswaded by what is last said to him, and changing next word."
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limber (n.)
"detachable forepart of a field-gun carriage," 1620s, alteration of Middle English lymer (early 15c.), earlier lymon (c. 1400), probably from Old French limon "shaft," a word perhaps of Celtic origin, or possibly from Germanic and related to limb (n.1). Compare related Spanish limon "shaft," leman "helmsman."

The nautical limber "hole cut in floor timbers to allow water to drain" (1620s), however, appears to be unrelated; perhaps from French lumière "hole, perforation," literally "light."
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limbo (n.2)
dance in which the dancer bends backward and passes under a bar, 1956, of West Indian origin, probably an alteration of limber (adj.).
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unlimber (v.)
1760, "to free (a gun) from its limber," usually for the purpose of bringing it into action, from un- (2) "opposite of" + limber "attach a gun to its limber" (see limber (n.)). Figurative sense is attested from 1864. Related: Unlimbered; unlimbering.
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lissome (adj.)
"limber, supple, flexible," 1800, variant of lithesome. Related: Lissomeness.
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loosen (v.)
late 14c., losnen (transitive) "make loose, free from tightness," later lousen (early 15c.), from loose (v.) + -en (1). Intransitive sense of "become loose" is from 1670s. Meaning "limber the muscles before physical effort" is from 1955. Related: Loosened; loosening; loosener.
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lagniappe (n.)

also lagnappe, "dividend, something extra, present or extra item given by a dealer to a customer to encourage patronage," 1849, from New Orleans creole, of unknown origin though much speculated upon. Originally a bit of something given by New Orleans shopkeepers to customers. Said to be from American Spanish la ñapa "the gift." Klein says this is in turn from Quechua yapa "something added, gift."

We picked up one excellent word — a word worth travelling to New Orleans to get; a nice, limber, expressive, handy word — 'lagniappe.' They pronounce it lanny-yap. It is Spanish — so they said. ["Mark Twain," "Life on the Mississippi," 1883]
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