Locking Arms: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
October 29, 2023

The expression "locking arms" symbolizes unity, solidarity, and mutual support. It's a gesture where individuals physically link their arms together, often seen in protests, marches, or moments of camaraderie. The act conveys that the participants stand together, united in their cause or belief, and ready to face challenges. This phrase can be used in various contexts, from social movements to displays of friendship and alliance.

In short:

"Locking arms" refers to the act of uniting or coming together in solidarity or support.

What Does "Locking Arms" Mean?

The idiom "locking arms" is a metaphorical expression that signifies unity, support, and togetherness. When people physically lock arms, they form a bond that is hard to break. Similarly, the idiom captures this essence of strength and unity. Let's delve deeper into its meanings:

  • Unity and Solidarity: It often implies standing together against challenges or adversities.
  • Support: Offering help or backing to someone in need.
  • Friendship: A gesture of close companionship or camaraderie.

This idiom also has variations like "linking arms" or "joining arms," which carry similar connotations.

Where Does "Locking Arms" Come From?

The origin of "locking arms" can be traced back to ancient times when soldiers and warriors would lock their shields or arms together to form a defensive line against enemies. This act not only provided physical protection but also symbolized unity and strength.

10 Examples of "Locking Arms" in Sentences

Understanding the idiom is easier when seen in context. Here are ten sentences that demonstrate its varied usage:

  • During the protest, the demonstrators were seen locking arms to signify unity.
  • Whenever I need to vent, I find solace in locking arms with my closest friend.
  • She suggested locking arms as they walked down the dark alley.
  • Communities are stronger when they are locking arms and working together.
  • I dreamt of you. In my dream, we locked arms in front of a new cafe.
  • By locking arms, the group showed their solidarity against the unjust decision.
  • We danced while locking arms. It was such a happy memory.
  • During the parade, the children were locking arms and singing joyfully.
  • They were locking arms at the rally to show their collective resistance.
  • While locking arms with the love of my life, I felt a surge of joy and anticipation for the future we would build together.

Examples of "Locking Arms" in Pop Culture

Here are some instances where this idiom has been prominently featured:

  • "Two Hours Traffic" by Audrey includes the lyrics, "Locking arms with him and eyes with me."
  • "Cali God" by Grace Mitchell features the lyrics, "Locking arms with someone else."
  • "Unbroken with Janee" has an episode titled "The Power of One. Locking Arms to Help Each Other."
  • "Locking arms for racial harmony in America" discusses what the NAACP and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are doing together.
  • "Police try to defuse George Floyd tensions by locking arms with angry protesters" appears on NBC News.
  • The book "Locking Arms: Shoulder to Shoulder, Man to Man...God's Design for Masculine Friendships" by Stu Weber focuses on the importance of masculine friendships.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Locking Arms"

Language is rich and diverse, and there are often multiple ways to convey a similar meaning.

Here are some synonyms or related expressions to "locking arms":

  • Joining forces
  • Standing together
  • Uniting
  • Teaming up

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Locking Arms":

  • What does "locking arms" symbolize?

It symbolizes unity, support, and togetherness.

  • Where did the idiom "locking arms" originate?

It can be traced back to ancient times when soldiers would lock their shields or arms together for defense.

  • Is "linking arms" the same as "locking arms"?

Yes, "linking arms" is a variation of "locking arms" and carries a similar meaning.

  • Can "locking arms" be used in a negative context?

While it primarily denotes positive connotations, context can change its implication.

  • How often is "locking arms" used in everyday language?

It's a fairly common idiom, especially when discussing unity or support.

  • Are there any famous songs that use this idiom?

Yes, the song Ghost Bitch by Sonic Youth contains the lyrics: "Locking arms side by side. Crouch down before the fire's light..."

  • Is "locking arms" used globally?

While the action is understood globally, the idiom might have variations in different cultures.

  • Can "locking arms" be used in a formal setting?

Yes, it can be used in both formal and informal contexts, depending on the situation.

  • What's the opposite of "locking arms"?

Phrases like "breaking bonds" or "going separate ways" can be seen as opposites.

  • How can I incorporate "locking arms" into my writing?

Use it when discussing unity, support, or togetherness, ensuring it fits the context of your writing.

Final Thoughts About "Locking Arms"

"Locking arms" is a versatile expression often used to convey unity, support, and togetherness. Whether you're marching in a protest, supporting a friend in need, or simply taking a stroll with a loved one, "locking arms" can be a powerful way to communicate solidarity and companionship.

Here's a quick wrap-up:

  • It symbolizes a bond between individuals, showcasing unity and mutual support.
  • People often use this phrase to depict literal and metaphorical connections in serious contexts or casual conversations.

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