Learn 20 πŸ–πŸ– Hand Idioms (with Meanings and Examples)

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Hands are not just tools for action but also powerful symbols in language and culture. Across the globe, idioms that involve the hands reveal much about societal values, cultural practices, and the collective human experience. These expressions add color and depth to our daily conversations, offering insights that go beyond the literal meanings of the words. In this blog post, we will explore 20 fascinating hand idioms, delve into their meanings, and see how they are used in context to enrich communication.

Hand Idioms

Here is the list of 20 Hand Idioms with their meanings and use Example Sentences:

All hands on deck

Meaning: A call for everyone to help or participate.

Example: When the deadline was moved up, it was all hands on deck to finish the project on time.

To have a hand in something

Meaning: To be involved in or influence a situation.

Example: She had a hand in organizing the community event, which was a huge success.

To wash one’s hands of something

Meaning: To refuse to have anything more to do with something.

Example: After the scandal, the company’s board washed their hands of the CEO.

Hand in hand

Meaning: Closely associated or working together.

Example: Innovation and sustainability often go hand in hand in successful startups.

To tip one’s hand

Meaning: To inadvertently reveal one’s intentions or strategy.

Example: He tipped his hand too early in the negotiations, which put him at a disadvantage.

To give a hand

Meaning: To help someone with a task.

Example: Could you give me a hand with moving these boxes?

To know like the back of one’s hand

Meaning: To be very familiar with something.

Example: She knows these streets like the back of her hand.

To live hand to mouth

Meaning: To barely have enough money to survive.

Example: Since losing his job, he’s been living hand to mouth.

To have one’s hands full

Meaning: To be very busy or preoccupied with difficulties.

Example: I can’t take on another project right now; I have my hands full as it is.

An iron hand in a velvet glove

Meaning: To deal with people in a firm but seemingly gentle way.

Example: She manages her team with an iron hand in a velvet glove, balancing kindness with authority.

To force someone’s hand

Meaning: To compel someone to act or make a decision prematurely.

Example: They forced his hand by threatening to go public with the information.

To bite the hand that feeds you

Meaning: To harm someone who has been helping you.

Example: Criticizing the team publicly was like biting the hand that feeds you.

At hand

Meaning: Close in location or time; immediately accessible.

Example: Keep your phone at hand during the meeting in case we need quick access to your data.

To have the upper hand

Meaning: To have control or advantage in a situation.

Example: In the negotiations, it was clear that they had the upper hand.

To try one’s hand at something

Meaning: To attempt to do something for the first time.

Example: I’ve never cooked Thai food before, but I decided to try my hand at it.

To hand something on a silver platter

Meaning: To give something to someone without them having to work for it.

Example: He’s used to having everything handed to him on a silver platter.

Hands down

Meaning: Without a doubt; easily.

Example: She won the match hands down.

To keep one’s hand in

Meaning: To maintain one’s skill or involvement in an activity.

Example: Although retired, he likes to keep his hand in by consulting now and then.

To change hands

Meaning: To go from one owner to another.

Example: The old bakery changed hands and is now a modern cafΓ©.

To throw one’s hands up

Meaning: To give up trying to do something because it is too difficult.

Example: After trying to fix the computer for hours, he threw his hands up in frustration.

Hand Idioms


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