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handle to (one's) name
1. A title added before one's name, as may indicate one's position, profession, or rank. The disgraced doctor was stripped of his medical license and the handle to his name. After marrying the duke, it took some time to get used to having a handle to my name.
2. A nickname or sobriquet. Because of my need for glasses, I had a handle to my name all throughout elementary school: Four Eyes. The Big Apple been the handle to New York City's name since the 1920s.
have a handle on (something)
To have a firm, clear understanding or determination of something. I hope everyone has a handle on the material, as you'll be tested on it next week. I thought I had a pretty good handle on English idioms, but I don't understand this one at all!
go off the handle
To become uncontrollably angry; to lose control of one's temper. It's a shame the candidate allowed himself to go off the handle like that during the debate, as it undermines a lot of the really solid arguments he'd been making up to that point. I know you're upset, but there's no point going off the handle like that. It was just an honest mistake.
1. A good physical hold on something. Make sure you've got a handle on your end of the couch before we try to lift it.
2. A newfound understanding of a topic or concept. Once I got a handle on how to operate the new system, I found that it made my job much easier.
fly off the handle
Fig. to lose one's temper. Every time anyone mentions taxes, Mrs. Brown flies off the handle. If she keeps flying off the handle like that, she'll have a heart attack.
*a handle on something
Fig. a means of understanding something; an aid to understanding something. (*Typically: get ~ have ~ give someone ~.) Let me try to get a handle on this. Now that I have a handle on the concept, I can begin to understand it.
handle someone with kid gloves
Fig. to be very careful with a touchy person. Bill has become so sensitive. You really have to handle him with kid gloves. You don't have to handle me with kid gloves. I can take it.
get a fix on something
to understand something It's not easy to get a fix on this new era we've entered.
Usage notes: sometimes also used in the form have a fix on something: After reading that biography, I felt I really had a fix on Jefferson.
fly off the handle
to get very angry fly into a rage When we make mistakes, he brings it to our attention, but he doesn't fly off the handle like he used to.
get a handle on something
to understand something We need to get a handle on what caused the fire and what can be done to prevent another one.
too hot to handle
too dangerous or difficult to deal with Certain subjects are still too hot to handle on television shows.
fly off the handle(informal)
to react in a very angry way to something someone says or does He really flew off the handle when I suggested selling the house.
get a handle on something(informal)
to find a way to understand a situation in order to control it We need to get a better handle on the effects of climate change.See fly off the handle, handle with kid gloves
be too hot to handle(informal)
if something or someone is too hot to handle, people cannot deal with them, because they are dangerous or difficult The book was so sexually explicit, it was considered too hot to handle by most publishers.
handle/treat somebody with kid gloves
to be very polite or kind to someone who is important or easily upset because you do not want to make them angry or upset
Usage notes: Kid gloves are gloves made from very soft leather which would feel very soft if someone touched you with them.Linda can be a very difficult woman - you've really got to handle her with kid gloves.
a layer of extra fat around the middle of a person's body You wouldn't want me to lose my love handles, would you?
fly off the handle
Lose one's temper, as in Tom flies off the handle at the slightest setback. This metaphoric expression alludes to the loosened head of a hammer flying off after a blow. [Early 1800s]
get a fix on
Also, have a fix on; get or have a handle on ; get or have a grasp of . Obtain (or have) a clear determination or understanding of something. For example, I was finally able to get a fix on the specifics of this problem, or No one in the press room had a handle on Balkan history, or Do you have a grasp of the situation? Similarly, give a fix means "provide a clear understanding," as in This briefing will give us a fix on the current situation. The usages with fix and handle are colloquialisms dating from the 1920s; those with grasp are more formal and date from the late 1600s.
get a handle on
see under get a fix on.
handle to one's name
A nickname or title, as in He was knighted and now had a handle to his name, or His gluttony earned him a handle to his name, Big Mouth. [First half of 1800s]
handle with gloves
Also, handle with kid gloves. Treat with great or very gently, as in She has a terrible temper, so try to handle her with kid gloves. This usage probably alludes to the antonym, handle without gloves, meaning "to treat harshly." Gloves made of kidskin, the hide of a young goat, are soft and pliable, whence the transfer to delicate treatment. [Second half of 1800s]
1. n. a person’s name or nickname. (Western jargon and then citizens band radio.) My handle is Goober. You can call me Goob.
2. n. a way of dealing with something; a grasp of a problem. As soon as I get a handle on this Wilson matter, I’ll give you a buzz.
n. rolls of fat around the waist that can be held on to during lovemaking. Ted worked out daily, trying to get rid of his love handles.
See love handles
See also: handle
fly off the handleInformal
To become suddenly enraged: flew off the handle when the train was finally canceled.
1. To conduct oneself in a specified manner: handled herself well in the interview.
2. To be able to defend oneself or fend for oneself: Don't worry about me. I can handle myself.
fly off the handle
To lose one's temper. The image is one of speed, as rapidly as an axe head parting company from the handle during a down stroke. The phrase is credited to the 19th-century humorist Thomas Haliburton.