Is there a specific verb or phrase for holding or carrying something in this particular way:

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Is it just "to hold or carry [something] under one's arm" (as translated literally from my mother tongue) or is there something more idiomatic?

  • 2
    In the US that would be a football carry
    – Jim
    Dec 16, 2017 at 4:04
  • @jim Would you please provide some phrases where the expression is used and make it into an answer? Dec 16, 2017 at 4:15

3 Answers 3


"He held the chicken tucked under his arm." and "He tucked the baguette under his arm." I would say they don't sound as accurate as they actually are, because people are not as likely to refer to their armpits, but these examples describe (to me) exactly what is happening in your images.

To me "the crook of the arm" is different, and something rests on it, rather than simply being near it, as in this image:


This is called 'carrying in the crook of your arm'.

One of them was cradling a sub-machine-gun in the crook of his arm.

Carey stood up, the fish held in the crook of his arm, as you would hold an infant.

Mortified, she turned her face and hid it in the crook of her arm.


The Ngram shows the expression to date from about 1898 so it would appear not to be derived from the shepherd's crook.

Ngrams show that it is prevalent in both AmE and BrE from that date.

The earliest citation I have found (to date) is its use by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in one of his earlier novels (not Sherlock Holmes) which would have been written in about 1890 as this was his 'early' period before he wrote the Holmes novels.

Eytymology of the word 'crook' :-

Old Norse krāka hook

Middle English crok(e) 1125–75


  • I would be very surprised, outside of a cartoon, to see someone carry a baby the way the original poster's chicken and baguette are being carried.
    – T.E.D.
    Jan 22, 2019 at 14:10

Fun fact: In Bengali, we call this বগলদাবা করে আনা (bogoldaba kore ana) - "to bring something pressed under one's arm". So, bringing something tucked under the arm, gripped under the arm, or blanketed under the arm - all seem fine to me.

  • 1
    This is not idiomatic in English: "blanketed under the arm"
    – Laurel
    Aug 17, 2023 at 18:11

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