from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Informal A cramp or stiffness in a muscle, especially of the upper leg, caused by injury or excessive exertion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A muscle cramp, usually in the thigh or leg.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a muscular cramp (especially in the thigh or calf) following vigorous exercise


Originally baseball slang, of unknown origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
The term may date back to American slang of the 1880s, possibly from the pitcher Charlie "Old Hoss" Radbourn who is said to have suffered from cramps. (Wiktionary)


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    Etymology: from Charley, nickname for Charles
    Date: 1888
    : a muscular pain, cramping, or stiffness especially of the quadriceps that results from a strain or bruise

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