Handy Expressions

The hands of time

A bird in the hand

Second hand Rose

First hand information

Hand me that bottle...

Hand over your money

The touch of a hand

Give me a hand

The hand that rocks the cradle

Helping hands

Time on my hands

Dishwater hands

Hands across the water

All hands on board

All hands on deck

Hands on

Wash your hands

Hands off

A backhanded compliment?

Hand in hand

One hand scratches the other

One hand washes the other

A handout

Hand me downs

Melts in your mouth, not in your hands


Handy man

Raise your hand

Clap your hands

Put your hand in the hand of the man . . .

Hand it over

Hand in marriage

Hand-el, the music

Hands across America

Don't let the right hand know what the left hand's doing.

Shake hands

One handed

Under handed

Whole world in his hands

Use your hand <grin>

I want to hold your haaaaand.


Hand in hand


A mother's hand

The hand of Gad

In good hands

A handful of silver

Handlebar moustache

Clean hands & a pure heart.

Cold hand of death

Lend a hand

Heart in hand

If thy right hand offend thee.

Winning hand

Nature's sweet cunning hand.

Cash in your hand

Bite the hand that feeds you.

Hat in hand

Idle hands

Lilly white hands

Deal a hand

Hand of justice

Handy Expressions

1. “All hands on deck,” from the traditional nautical command for every sailor to report for duty, refers to the necessity of everyone involved to lend a hand, or assist.

2. To bite the hand that feeds you is to be hostile to someone who has been kind to you.

3. To be a dab hand is, in British English, to be an expert.

4. “The devil makes work for idle hands” is a proverb that means that inactive people are susceptible to the temptation to do wrong.

5. To know something firsthand is to be directly familiar with the facts.

6. To force someone’s hand is to compel them to act prematurely or involuntarily.

7. Having a free hand is being given wide latitude about how to carry out a task or responsibility.

8. To gain the upper hand is to obtain control.

9. To get your hands dirty is to engage in a important activity that may not be pleasant.

10. To give a hand is to help, though it also refers to applauding by clapping one’s hands.

11. To give a guiding hand is to offer advice or mentorship.

12. Something that goes hand in hand with something else is closely associated with it.

13. To be in good, or safe, hands is to be assured that you will be taken care of.

14. To hand something down is to offer it to an heir, or to deliver a decision.

15. To hand in something is to deliver it.

16. To work hand in glove is to work together intimately.

17. To hand something off is to pass it along to someone else, with the connotation of delegating it.

18. To hand something on is to pass it along to someone else in succession.

19. To hand something out is to offer it to recipients.

20. To hand something over is to deliver it to someone in authority, perhaps reluctantly or unwillingly.

21. To earn money hand over fist is to do so quickly.

22. To hand something to somebody on a platter (often a silver one) is to enable them to achieve something without effort.

23. To hand something up is to present it to a higher authority, such as grand jury to a judge.

24. To win hands down is to do so conclusively.

25. To be hands-off is to distance oneself from an activity or project.

26. To be hands-on is to directly involve oneself in an activity or project.

27. To have blood on one’s hands is to be culpable for an act.

28. When you tell someone you have to hand it to them, you’re giving them a compliment.

29. To have your hands full is to be busy.

30. To act with a heavy hand is to do so harshly or with too much force.

31. A heavy-handed gesture or action is one that is lacking in subtlety.

32. When the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, it means that communication among associates is poor.

33. To lend a hand is to assist.

34. To know something like the back of one’s hand is to know it thoroughly.

35. To live from hand to mouth is to be poor.

36. To be an old hand is to be familiar with or to be an expert at something.

37. To say that something is on hand is to indicate that it is available.

38. “On the other hand” is a synonym for however or “by contrast.”

39. To overplay your hand is to try too hard to achieve an objective, resulting in failure or complication.

40. Something that gets out of hand has gone out of control.

41. To play into someone’s hands is to be manipulated by an opponent into doing something advantageous to that person and detrimental to yourself.

42. “Put your hands up” is a command by law enforcement personnel directing someone to raise their hands so that they are in clear view and not likely to reach for a weapon.

43. To raise one’s hand is to lift an arm to indicate that one wishes to volunteer to perform a task or respond to a question.

44. A show of hands is a display of raised hands by those in a group in favor of or opposed to a proposal.

45. To take someone by the hand is to lead or nurture them.

46. To take the law into your own hands is to seek to right or avenge a wrong yourself rather than appeal to law enforcement for assistance.

47. To throw your hands up is to figuratively acknowledge defeat or frustration.

48. To be underhanded is to be deceitful.

49. To wash your hands of something is to absolve yourself of responsibility.

50. To say “When one hand washes the other” (the implied conclusion to the phrase is “and together they wash the face”) is to suggest that cooperation encourages success.

a bird in the hand

a firm hand on the tiller

a hand in

a hand with

a hand-me-down

a helping hand

a safe pair of hands

all hands on deck

all hands to the pumps

an iron fist in a velvet glove

an old hand

at first hand

at hand

at second hand

at the hand of

at the hands of

back of hand

back of one's hand

bare hands, with one's

be a dab hand

be in hand

be in hands

be in safe hands

be on hand

be out of hands

be putty in hands

bear a hand

big hand

bird in the hand

bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

bite the hand that feeds

bite the hand that feeds one

bite the hand that feeds you

bottom hand

bound hand and foot

by a show of hands

by hand

by own hand

can count on the fingers of one hand

can’t find one’s butt with both hands

can’t find one’s butt with both hands in broad daylight

can't find butt with both hands

can't keep hands off

can't see hand in front of face

cap in hand

caught with hand in the cookie jar

change hands

clean hands, have

close at hand

cold hands, warm heart

come cap in hand

could do with one arm tied behind back

cup hands together

Dead Man's Hand

deal in

devil finds work for idle hands to do

die by own hand

dirty hands

dirty one's hands

dishpan hands

don't bite the hand that feeds

don't hand me that line

don't hand me that story

eat out of hand

eat out of someone's hand

extra pair of hands

fall into hands

fall into the wrong hands

feed someone a line

fill hand

firm hand

first hand

fold hands

force hand

force someone's hand

free hand

from hand to hand

gain the upper hand

get a hand

get a hand on

get hands dirty

get hands dirty and dirty hands; soil hands

get hands on

get out of hand

get the upper hand

give a free hand

give a hand

give the back of hand

give to on a plate

give to on a platter

glad hand


go hand in hand

go hang yourself

grease someone's palm


hand and foot

hand around

hand back

hand down

hand down from to

hand in

hand in glove

hand in hand

hand in the till, with one's

Hand it over

hand it to

hand it to someone

hand job

hand off

hand on

hand out

hand over

hand over fist

hand over hand

hand over the baton

hand over the reins

hand someone something

hand to

hand to hand

hand to mouth, from

hand to on a silver platter

hand up


hands are tied

hands down

hands off

Hands off!

hands up

Hands up!


hat in hand

have a hand in

Have a nice day

have at fingertips

have blood on hands

have clean hands

have fingers in the till

have hand in

have hand in the till

have hands full

have hands on

have hands tied

have in hand

have in hands

have in the palm of hand

have on hands

have one's hands full

have the upper hand

have the whip hand

have time on hands

have to hand it to

heavy hand, with a

helping hand

hired hand

hold hand

I have to hand it to

in good hands

in hand

in one's hands

in the hands of

in the palm of hand

iron hand

join hands

keep hand in

keep hands clean

keep hands off

keep hands to

keep one's hand in

Keep your hands to yourself

know like a book

know like the back of hand

know like the palm of hand

lay a hand on

lay hands on

leave in hands

left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing

left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, the

lend a hand

lend a hand with

lie in

life is in hands

lift a hand

live from hand to mouth

live hand to mouth

Many hands make light work

near at hand

not lift a finger

off hands

off someone's hands

old hand

old hand at something

on hand

on one hand

on one's hands

on the one hand

on the one hand...on the other hand

on the other hand

One hand for oneself and one for the ship

out of control

out of hand

out of hands

overplay hand

pass in

pass the torch

play into hands

play into the hands of

put hand in pocket

put hand on heart

put hand to the plow

put hand up

put hands on

put your hands together for someone

putty in hands

putty in someone's hands

raise a hand

raise a hand against

raise hand against

reject out of hand

right-hand man

rub hands

rub one's hands

rule with a rod of iron

run fingers through hair

second hand

shake hand

shake hands

show hand

show of hands

show one's hand

show the back of hand

sit on hands

sit on its hands

sit on one's hands

sleight of hand

strike hands

take a hand in

take hands off

take in hand

take into own hands

take life in hands

take matters into own hands

take off hands

take someone's life

take the law into one's hands

take the law into own hands

the dead hand of

The devil finds work for idle hands

The hand that rocks the cradle

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world

the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing

the matter in hand

throw hands up

throw hands up in horror

throw in hand

throw in one's hand

throw up hands

throw up one's hands

tie hands

tie one's hands

time hangs heavy

Time hangs heavy on hands

time on hands

time on one's hands

tip hand

tip one’s hand

tip one's hand

to hand

try hand

try hand at

try one's hand

turn hand to

turn one's hand to

upper hand

wait on hand and foot

wandering hands

wash hands of

wash one's hands of

well in hand

win hands down

with bare hands

with one arm tied behind one's back

with one hand tied behind back

with own fair hands

work hand in glove with

wring hands