Etymology
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charley horse (n.)

1887, sporting slang, origin obscure, probably from somebody's long-forgotten lame racehorse. Charley horse seems to have been a name for a horse or a type of horse (perhaps especially a lame one) around that time.

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Definitions of charley horse

charley horse (n.)
a muscular cramp (especially in the thigh or calf) following vigorous exercise;
Synonyms: charley-horse
From wordnet.princeton.edu