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Words Can Be A Handful

April 15, 2017

Hands are our biggest tool, not only because we use them every minute of the day but according to google there are 324 words containing the word ‘hand’. Thought to originate in Old English, it is widely used in Germanic languages such as German, Dutch and Swedish and is assumed to have come from a mixture of the Gothic word for ‘seize’, the Swedish word for ‘reach’ and the English ‘hunt’ originally meaning a body part used for seizing. This later became understood as ‘easy to handle’ with the more modern sense of attractiveness (as in handsome), not coming until much later.

Interestingly the Latin root of the word ‘man’ also means ‘hand’. The root word is the origin of many English words like manicure, manhandle, manual which all refer to something being done by ‘hand’.

‘Hand over fist’ is suggestive of sailors and fisherman hauling in nets (1825). To win something hands down (1855) is from horse racing, a jockey’s gesture of letting go of the reins when heading for victory. ‘Hand in Hand’ was first recorded in 1576 the phrase was used when two people joined in business.

‘Never bite the hand that feeds you’ first used in the 1800’s is suggestive that dogs are a mans best friend they are loyal and  do not bite the hands that feed them.

More recently ‘handful’ hugely used for describing people or children who can be a bit hard to handle ‘you’ve got your hands full there’ and also indicating portion sizes. Some dieticians believe you should never eat more food than you can fit into your hand in one go!

Evenhanded – the idea of being cool, calm, collected and above all fair in all things. Suggests a lightness of touch and the ability to apply even pressure.

Maybe by coincidence the American saying ‘Have A Nice Day’ all the words start in sequence with the word HAND.

Many hands make light work as they say – give yours lots of ‘hand care’ with SEAMS

Karen J.

Words containing hand wordsearch



Sew News USA Hands Are The Biggest Indicators Of Age
Sew News USA
Hands Are The Biggest Indicators Of Age

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