Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Arms Akimbo!

"Well, a dictionary is a useful tool..."
Stan Lee, How to Write Comics
Bazaar of the Bizzaro: ARMS AKIMBO!

It's the classic superhero stance, a pose as old as the comic books themselves: standing with arms akimbo! It means to stand with hands on the hips and elbows turned outward. To this day, I judge the quality of a dictionary by whether or not they include an illustration of arms akimbo, but only because it's the first word I ever recall seeing in the dictionary as a small child, probably because of that picture. According to Merriam-Webster (no picture, epic fail), you can apparently sit with legs akimbo too, but that just doesn't seem quite as heroic. Akimbo is actually an English word, its origin from the Middle English (and possibly Old Norse) in kenebowe.

Kenebowe - I'll have to remember that as a surname for the secret identity of some stretchy power guy down the road, but I digress.

A is for Aquaman with arms akimbo!
Nothing says to the world "I am a Superhero!" more than standing with your arms akimbo when you face off against that evil supervillain, survey the city streets beneath you in search of crime, or receive a commendation from the mayor on the steps of city hall. According to body language experts, standing with arms akimbo is "a territorial display that establishes dominance, and suggests the subject has "issues" with the current situation." Sounds about the right message I'd want to send to any supervillains if I were a superhero. I won't get into what the experts say about sitting with legs akimbo...

Aquaman's Little Fish
Awhile back, I posted my BIFF! BAM! POW! cards - a drama deck I made for the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying game. Here's a new card to add to the deck. You can write it in on one of the blank cards included with the deck until I have enough new cards to update the PDF file.

Add a +3 bonus to the Effort on a test to Intimidate (Willpower action), Notice, or Search (Awareness actions) while standing with arms akimbo.

One down, 25 more to go. "B" sure to check in tomorrow, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel! Thanks again for reading!

(By the way, if the letter B of the A to Z Blogging Challenge had fallen instead on April Fool's Day today, you'd probably be reading something stupid I'd written about boob windows...)


  1. Thank you for this nice post and for teaching me a new word. I might use it to describe my characters postures more accurately.
    Keep up with the good work.

  2. I had no idea the "Superman Stance" (as I've always referred to it) had an actual name. TIL what Akimbo means. Suddenly the title of the Kim Mitchell album Akimbo Alogo make a lot more sense.

  3. I never realized the reason behind arms akimbo in the comic book/superhero movies I have watched. Now, it makes a lot more sense.