Dab hand — expert at a particular activity (1600s)
Underhanded — done in a secret or dishonest way; sneaky
Upper hand — power, control, dominance
In hand — under control; in reserve
At hand — nearby; imminent
On hand — immediately available; close by
Take in hand — to take control of or to lead
Get out of hand — to become chaotic and unmanageable
Hands-on — learn by doing rather than studying theory
Hands off! — Don’t touch!
Hands up! — Surrender!
Hands down — without a doubt
Hand over — give or yield something
Before hand — ahead of time
Handmade — made by hand, not machine, and thus assumed to be superior
Handwork — work done with the hands
Handiwork — work (often creative) done by the hands
Ham-handed — clumsy, inept
Backhanded — meaning the opposite of what it seems to mean; sarcastic
Have to hand it to you — recognize your achievement
Hand — the cards held in a game such as bridge or poker
Sleight of hand — a cleverly executed trick or deception
Hand in glove — working very closely with someone
Lend a hand — help
Handsome — in the 1400s, this word meant “easy to handle”
Come in handy — be useful in a particular situation
Handy — close at hand, convenient, a person who can fix anything
Handy-dandy — convenient and useful; an old children’s game
After the last post, clever readers suggested a few more. Thank you, Licette, Linnéa, and Shandra!
But I think I’m done with “hand,” so I now raise my tired hand in farewell! Unless, of course, someone hands me some new examples.