Hand Idioms

Hand idioms are a fascinating aspect of the English language. They are expressions that use the hand or fingers as a metaphor for a variety of concepts, such as success, assistance, and deception. You might have heard some of these idioms before, such as “give someone a hand” or “have a hand in something,” but there are many more to discover.

List of Hand Idioms and Phrases

  • At hand/handy
  • By hand
  • On hand
  • Out of hand
  • Put your hand in your pocket
  • First hand
  • Second hand
  • On the one hand…On the other hand
  • Know like the back of your hand
  • Give a hand/ lend a hand
  • Hands down
  • Force someone’s hand
  • Get your hands dirty
  • Hand something up
  • Have (someone’s) blood on (one’s) hands
  • Heavy-handed
  • Underhanded
  • Hold/put your hands up
  • In somebody’s capable, safe, etc. hands
  • In the hands of somebody, in somebody’s hands
  • In safe hands, in the safe hands of somebody
  • Keep your hand in
  • Take your courage in both hands
  • Take the law into your own hands
  • Take your life in your hands
  • Turn your hand to something
  • Wait on somebody hand and foot
  • Wash your hands of somebody/something

Hand Idioms and Sayings | Image

HAND Idioms: 25+ Useful Idioms & Sayings about Hands

Hand Idioms with Meaning and Examples

At hand/handy

  • Meaning: Within reach or readily available.
  • Example: “I always keep a flashlight at hand in case of a power outage.”

By hand

  • Meaning: Done manually or without the use of machines.
  • Example: “I prefer to write my notes by hand rather than typing them on a computer.”

On hand

  • Meaning: Available or present.
  • Example: “We have enough food on hand to feed everyone at the party.”

Out of hand

  • Meaning: Out of control or impossible to manage.
  • Example: “The argument between the two coworkers got out of hand and had to be mediated by the supervisor.”

Put your hand in your pocket

  • Meaning: To spend money.
  • Example: “I had to put my hand in my pocket to buy the concert tickets.”

First hand

  • Meaning: Directly experienced or witnessed.
  • Example: “I heard about the accident first hand from a witness.”

Second hand

  • Meaning: Indirectly experienced or heard from someone else.
  • Example: “I only know about the incident second hand from what my friend told me.”

On the one hand…On the other hand

  • Meaning: To present two contrasting opinions or perspectives.
  • Example: On the one hand, I want to go out tonight, but on the other hand, I have a lot of work to do.”

Know like the back of your hand

  • Meaning: To know something very well.
  • Example: “I know this city like the back of my hand after living here for ten years.”

Give a hand/ lend a hand

  • Meaning: To help or assist someone.
  • Example: “Can you give me a hand with these heavy boxes?”

Hands down

  • Meaning: Without a doubt or easily.
  • Example: “She won the race hands down, she was so far ahead of everyone else.”

Force someone’s hand

  • Meaning: To make someone do something they do not want to do.
  • Example: “The deadline is approaching, and we may have to force their hand to make a decision.”

Get your hands dirty

  • Meaning: To do hard work or get involved in something that is unpleasant.
  • Example: “If you want to succeed in this business, you have to be willing to get your hands dirty.”

Hand something up

  • Meaning: To submit or present something.
  • Example: “I need to hand up my report to my boss by the end of the day.”

Have (someone’s) blood on (one’s) hands

  • Meaning: To be responsible for someone’s death or injury.
  • Example: “The driver had the pedestrian’s blood on his hands after the accident.”

Heavy-handed

  • Meaning: To be overly forceful or insensitive.
  • Example: “The manager’s heavy-handed approach to discipline led to low morale among the employees.”

Underhanded

  • Meaning: To be deceitful or dishonest.
  • Example: “The politician’s underhanded tactics were exposed by the media.”

Hold/put your hands up

  • Meaning: To surrender or admit defeat.
  • Example: “The suspect held his hands up when the police arrived.”

In somebody’s capable, safe, etc. hands

  • Meaning: To entrust someone with responsibility or care.
  • Example: “I left my children in the capable hands of their grandmother while I went on vacation.”

In the hands of somebody, in somebody’s hands

  • Meaning: To be controlled or managed by someone.
  • Example: “The fate of the company is in the hands of the board of directors.”

In safe hands, in the safe hands of somebody

  • Meaning: To be in the care of someone who is trustworthy and competent.
  • Example: “Don’t worry, your valuables are in safe hands with our security team.”

Keep your hand in

  • Meaning: To maintain a skill or keep up with a hobby.
  • Example: “Even though I retired, I still like to keep my hand in and play golf on the weekends.”

Take your courage in both hands

  • Meaning: To be brave and face a difficult situation.
  • Example: “I had to take my courage in both hands and ask my boss for a raise.”

Take the law into your own hands

  • Meaning: To seek revenge or justice without legal authority.
  • Example: “Vigilantism is not the answer, we cannot take the law into our own hands.”

Take your life in your hands

  • Meaning: To put oneself in a dangerous or risky situation.
  • Example: “Crossing the busy street without looking both ways is like taking your life in your hands.”

Turn your hand to something

  • Meaning: To try or attempt to do something that you have little or no experience in.
  • Example: “She turned her hand to painting and discovered a hidden talent.”

Wait on somebody hand and foot

  • Meaning: To serve someone in a very attentive and subservient manner, fulfilling their every need and desire.
  • Example: “The butler waited on the wealthy family hand and foot.”

Wash your hands of somebody/something

  • Meaning: To disassociate oneself from someone or something, to stop being involved or responsible for it.
  • Example: “The company decided to wash its hands of the faulty product and issue a recall.”

Above is a list of most common idioms with Hand you should learn to enlarge your vocabulary in English.