This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Last updated at 12:36 GMT, Monday, 25 March 2013

Episode 184 - Language Point

The flatmates and the cat in the kitchen

Expressions with 'hands' and 'feet'

There are lots of English expressions, idioms and proverbs which refer to hands and feet. For example, Alice says Khalid and Tim were "waited on hand and foot" by Tim's mum. She meant Tim's mum did everything for them, they didn't have to do anything for themselves.

Here's a selection of some common expressions using hands and feet.


hand in glove
working together, often to do something in a dishonest wayThe politician had to resign when the newspapers found out he was working hand in glove with the construction companies which built the hospital.

sleight of hand
hiding of the truth so that you can gain an advantage
By some sleight of hand with economic figures, the government has managed to make it look like the economy is improving.

lose / make money hand over fist
make or lose money very quickly
During the hot summer months he sells ice-cream on the beach and makes money hand over fist.

count on the fingers of one hand
something that happens very rarely or exists in very small numbers
You can count the number of times he's offered to buy the coffees on the fingers of one hand.

have someone eating out of the palm of your hand / have some in the palm of your hand
have complete control over someone and to be able to make her /him do anything you want
She delivered such a great speech, she had us all in the palm of her hand.

tip your hand
say what you are going to do or what you believe
Even though everyone is sure the two stars will be getting married soon, this major Hollywood star film star refused to tip her hand about her wedding plans.


my foot
used to mean that you don't believe what someone has just told you
She says she can't afford to come our with us this evening. Can't afford it my foot! She just doesn't like us, that's all.

from head to foot / toe
covering your body completely
t started raining during the children's football match and before long both teams were covered in mud from head to toe. They loved it!

put your best foot forward
try as hard as you can
Don't worry about the interview. Just put your best foot forward and if you don't know the answer, don't be afraid to tell they you don't know. I'm sure you'll do fine.

Put your foot down
use your authority to stop something happening
I didn't mind giving her a lift now and again, but when she stated saying she needed to borrow the car, I just put my foot down.

not put a foot wrong
not make any mistakes or do anything wrong
He's the golden boy in the office. No matter how rude he is to the rest of us, as far as the boss is concerned, he can't put a foot wrong.


Don't give us a hard time
Don't make things difficult or unpleasant for us
A city boy like you? Don't make me laugh!
You're from the city. I can't take what you said seriously (here, that you were able to work on the farm)
Don't mock
Don't laugh at me. I'm being serious

Episode 184 links

  1. Home
  2. The Flatmates
  3. Episode 184 - Language Point