early 15c., "conjuring tricks, sleight of hand," from Middle French léger de main "quick of hand," literally "light of hand." Léger "light" in weight (Old French legier, 12c.) is from Latin levis "light," from PIE root *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight." It is cognate with Spanish ligero, Italian leggiero "light, nimble" (hence also leger line in music). Main "hand" is from Latin manus (from PIE root *man- (2) "hand").
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