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Sep 29, 2021
This week’s theme
Hand to mouth

This week’s words
handmaiden
snoutfair
sticky-fingered
gobsmacked
hardfisted

sticky-fingered
If you have fingers that are permanently stuck together, well, beaks work too
Image: imgur

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

sticky-fingered

PRONUNCIATION:
(STIK-ee fing-guhrd)

MEANING:
adjective: Given to stealing.

ETYMOLOGY:
From stick (to fasten or attach), from Old English stician (to pierce) + finger, from Old English. Earliest documented use: 1855.

NOTES:
Lime is another word for something sticky or slimy. Birdlime is used to catch birds. From lime we got the term lime-fingered, alluding to someone whose fingers easily adhere to stuff belonging to others, in other words, someone prone to stealing. Eventually the terms sticky-handed and sticky-fingered entered the language. Sometimes the metaphors and reality collide, as in these headlines:
  • Quebec Police Seek Sticky-Fingered Thieves with $30m of Maple Syrup (The Guardian)
  • Sticky-Fingered Thieves Made Off with $200 in Honey (The Huntsville Times)
    Let’s hope someone fingered the thieves.

  • USAGE:
    “Rare book thefts occur all the time. ... Some sticky-fingered collectors covet them simply to add luster to their shelves.”
    Marc Wortman and Christopher Sotomayor; The Case Of The Purloined Books; Vanity Fair (New York); Apr 2021.

    A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
    A proverb is a short sentence based on long experience. -Miguel de Cervantes, novelist (29 Sep 1547-1616)

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