One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A leg, especially in reference to the shapeliness of a woman's leg.
- ‘Kudos as well to Gordon whose pipes and gams were in fine form on opening night, giving a stellar spin on this seminal musical theatre role.’
- ‘She is love-interest Polly Perkins, a very Lois Lane-like reporter with a nose for trouble, a nice set of gams, and a rocky history with the dashing Captain.’
- ‘His gaze lowers and takes in her legs beneath the table, as gorgeous a set of gams as he's ever seen.’
- ‘In Men with Arrows, a tousle-haired youngster ponders the cleavage and shapely gams of his young mom as she squats to pick up laundry; behind them hover images of an upscale tract home and a Mercury capsule parachuting into the sea.’
- ‘She sings and shows a lot of cleavage (well, as much as was allowed at the time) and a clinging black sequined gown accents her shapely gams.’
- ‘When this chap seated himself, with his long out-stretched legs, I realized that his gams were quite close in proximity, to yours truly.’
- ‘The Dolphins have the more powerful running gams with him, but the Giants' offense has much better balance.’
- ‘Our gams endure countless hours of bending, squatting, cycling and walking, all courtesy of the knees.’
- ‘Showcase your fabulous gams in this treasure of a boot by Christian Louboutin.’
- ‘Now as connoisseurs of female gams will attest, female calves, like the rest of the female form, can range from slim to curvy.’
- ‘At 5'11 ’, she was genetically blessed with great gams.’
- ‘One spread in the first issue reads, ‘She knows how to play up those gorgeous gams and big brown eyes with the latest relaxed and layered styles.’’
- ‘Framed by the bottom seam of his white trunks and the tops of his white socks and boxing slippers, they were the equivalent of her legendary gams.’
- ‘She gives the interview while wearing a rather short skirt, and she has really nice gams.’
- ‘Sure enough, there he is: check out those silky-smooth gams.’
- ‘My old gams look much better in hose, obviously.’
- ‘What better spokesperson for landmine awareness than a foxy mama with shapely gams?’
Late 18th century: probably a variant of the heraldic term gamb, which denotes a charge representing an animal's leg, from Old Northern French gambe ‘leg’.
1rare A school of whales, porpoises, or dolphins.
- ‘Upon getting into a "gam" of whales, this boat, together with that of one of the mates, pulled for a single whale that was seen at a distance from the others, and succeeded in getting square up to their victim unperceived.’
2US dialect A social meeting or informal conversation (originally one among whalers at sea).
- ‘Crews normally visit each other during a gam, captains on one vessel and chief mates on the other.’
- ‘On the high seas, ships whose paths crossed held a gam, during which the men exchanged news, jokes, out-of-date periodicals, letters to be forwarded, and tales of the occasional bull sperm whale who head-butted his persecutors instead of dying quietly.’
Mid 19th century: origin uncertain; perhaps from dialect gam ‘game’, or shortened from gammon.
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