also lay-up, 1927, "temporary period out of work," from the verbal phrase; see lay (v.) + up (adv.). Compare layoff. Basketball shot so called by 1955, short for lay-up shot (1947). The verbal phrase is attested from mid-14c. as "store away," 1550s as "confine to one's bed or room" (of illness); of ships in docks, 1660s. Related: Laid-up.
updated on June 14, 2016