That sounds like an urban legend to me. Although it is cited several places around the web, I've also heard that the word is onomatopoeic- The war officers would check to see if the bladder was inflated by flicking the sack. If it responded with a *blimp* sound, it was at the proper pressure. (an all around great website, btw) also points out that J.R.R. Tolkien claims the word is a combinations of the words blister and lump, which sounds plausible enough. Not much more so than the b-limp theory, though. I like the *blimp* theory, myself.