Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Ham-handed

  1. #1
    Gintas is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Lithuanian
      • Home Country:
      • Lithuania
      • Current Location:
      • Lithuania
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Ham-handed

    I have the question regarding the origin of Ham-handed (ham-fisted).
    First recorded 1876: newspaperarchive.com

    Did it originate from earlier expression? ham-like a hand; a hand like a ham?
    'If there be, as we devoutly believe, honour among thieves, sure we are it
    is alloyed with envy: a men with a hand like a ham cannot complacently
    view the snaky palm of a more perfect brother.' Blackwood's Eidinburgh
    magazine. 39 t. 1836

    Best regards,
    Gintas

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,749
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Ham-handed

    It's all the same idea.

  3. #3
    Gintas is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Lithuanian
      • Home Country:
      • Lithuania
      • Current Location:
      • Lithuania
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Ham-handed

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It's all the same idea.
    Does it mean short form of hand like a ham?

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,749
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Ham-handed

    The SOED suggests that ham-fisted/handed are later- it has them down as early twentieth century, but you have found an earlier example. I think that hand like a ham is a description of the size and shape rather than the clumsiness, so ham-fisted/handed may have come from this, but there has been a change in meaning for me. You don't have to have hands like a ham to be ham-fisted.

Similar Threads

  1. [Idiom] urgent - ham by haunch
    By asmf in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 31-Mar-2010, 12:31
  2. handed in
    By jkl in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 24-May-2008, 03:20
  3. ham tea?
    By imchongjun in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 31-Oct-2007, 16:50
  4. handed over
    By kohyoongliat in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 22-May-2007, 15:10
  5. i like ham cheese and chicken
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Dec-2006, 13:35

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •