Idioms with hands, fingers and arms

July 12, 2013

There are quite a few idioms using the words arms, hands and fingers. Although giving a comprehensive list of all of these expressions is beyond the scope of this post, it does provide an overview of the most popular among them.

All hands on deck

Used to imply that a given circumstance requires everyone’s participation or attention

All thumbs

When you are all thumbs and no fingers, you are very clumsy. In other words, you lack the dexterity to handle things properly.

Have something at hand

When you have something at hand, it is easily accessible to you.

Be hand in hand

When two or more people are hand in hand, they work in close association.

A backhanded compliment

A backhanded compliment is a remark that denigrates the recipient. The expression a left-handed compliment also means the same.

Be in safe (or good) hands

When you are in safe or good hands, you are in a secure position.

Be on hand

When you are on hand, you are available when your service is needed.

Bite the hand that feeds you

To bite the hand that feeds you is to be ungrateful to a person who has helped you in the past.

The devil makes work for idle hands / An idle mind is a devil’s workshop

Used to imply that if a person does not occupy himself with meaningful activities, he will soon find himself indulging in illicit behaviour

Did not lift a finger

Used to criticize people for not helping you