Idiomatic Expressions with the Word HAND…
1. By hand – made by a person and not a machine
E.g. The fabric was painted by hand.
2. At hand/handy – nearby
E.g. I like to keep my vocabulary at hand.
3. On hand – present, available.
E.g. Are there enough people on hand to hold a meeting?
We have lots of people on hand to help you with this project.
4. Out of hand – out of control.
E.g. Employee absenteeism has gotten out of hand.
5. First hand – to experience something yourself.
E.g. I never knew how hard it was to play the guitar, until I tried it first-hand.
6. Second hand – not from the original source/ used object.
E.g. Tom advised him not to buy the second hand car
7. On the one hand…On the other hand – Compare two aspects of a situation.
E.g. On the one hand she is beautiful, from another hand she talks too much.
8. Know like the back of your hand – very well.
E.g. She’ll give you the name of a place to stay – she knows the area like the back of her hand.
9. Give a hand/ lend a hand – to help somebody physically.
E.g. Could you lend me a hand with this piano?
10. Hands down – obviously, without a doubt/easily, decisively.
E.g. Tom was hands-down the best student at the university.
11. Force someone’s hand – compel them to act prematurely or involuntarily.
E.g. They decided to strike to force the management’s hand.
12. Get your hands dirty – to engage in a important activity that may not be pleasant.
E.g. He’s not frightened of getting his hands dirty.
13. Hand something up – to present it to a higher authority, such as grand jury to a judge.
E.g. Please hand up this coffee to Carl.
14. Have (someone’s) blood on (one’s) hands –To be the cause of (someone’s) death; to bear the guilt or responsibility of (someone’s) death or injury.
E.g. The police now have blood on their hands after their crack down on protesters turned violent.
15. Heavy-handed – using too much of something in a way that can cause damage
E.g. Don’t be too heavy-handed with the salt.
16. To be underhanded is to be deceitful.
E.g. I promise you there’s nothing underhand about this agreement.
17. Hold/put your hands up – to admit that you have made a mistake or are responsible for something bad
E.g. I have to hold my hands up and admit that some of the problems have been all my own fault.
18. In somebody’s capable, safe, etc. hands – being taken care of or dealt with by somebody that you think you can rely on
E.g. Can I leave these queries in your capable hands?
19. In the hands of somebody, in somebody’s hands – being taken care of or controlled by somebody
E.g. The matter is now in the hands of my lawyer.
20. In safe hands, in the safe hands of somebody – being taken care of well by somebody
E.g. Their problem was in the safe hands of the experts.
21. Keep your hand in – to occasionally do something that you used to do a lot so that you do not lose your skill at it
E.g. She retired last year but still teaches the odd class to keep her hand in.
22. Take your courage in both hands – to make yourself do something that you are afraid of
E.g. Taking her courage in both hands, she opened the door and walked in.
23. Take the law into your own hands – to do something illegal in order to punish somebody for doing something wrong, instead of letting the police deal with them
E.g. After a series of burglaries in the area, the police are worried that residents might take the law into their own hands.
24. Take your life in your hands – to risk being killed
E.g. You take your life in your hands just crossing the road here.
25. Turn your hand to something – to start doing something or be able to do something, especially when you do it well
E.g. Jim can turn his hand to most jobs around the house.
26. Wait on somebody hand and foot – to take care of somebody’s needs so well that they do not have to do anything for themselves
E.g. He seems to expect me to wait on him hand and foot.
27. Wash your hands of somebody/something – to refuse to be responsible for or involved with somebody/something
E.g. I’ve washed my hands of the whole sordid business.
28. Put your hand in your pocket – (British English) to spend money or give it to somebody
E.g. I’ve heard he doesn’t like putting his hand in his pocket.