1850, American English, from Canadian French jeu de la crosse (18c.), literally "game of the hooked sticks," from crosse "hooked stick," such as that used in the game to throw the ball. This French word is, perhaps via a Gallo-Romance *croccia, from Proto-Germanic *kruk- (see crook (n.)). Originally a North American Indian game; the native name is represented by the Ojibwa (Algonquian) verb baaga'adowe "to play lacrosse." Modern form and rules of the game were laid down 1860 in Canada.
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