twiddle

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twiddle one's thumbs

Fig. to pass the time by twirling one's thumbs. What am I supposed to do while waiting for you? Sit here and twiddle my thumbs? Don't sit around twiddling your thumbs. Get busy!
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle with something

to play with something; to play with something, using one's fingers; to fiddle with something. I asked Jason to stop twiddling with the pencils. Someone is twiddling with the stereo controls.
See also: twiddle

twiddle one's thumbs

Be bored or idle, as in There I sat for three hours, twiddling my thumbs, while he made call after call. This expression alludes to the habit of idly turning one's thumbs about one another during a period of inactivity. [Mid-1800s]
See also: thumb, twiddle

be twiddling your thumbs

If you are twiddling your thumbs, you are waiting with nothing useful to do. I'd far rather be cleaning than twiddling my thumbs waiting for the boys to wake up. There is a lot of team work too and no one is ever left twiddling their thumbs.
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle your thumbs

be bored or idle because you have nothing to do.
See also: thumb, twiddle

ˌtwiddle your ˈthumbs

(informal) do nothing while you are waiting for something to happen: I had to sit at home twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the phone to ring.
If you twiddle your thumbs, you move them around each other while your fingers are joined together.
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle one’s thumbs

tv. to do nothing; to wait nervously, playing with one’s fingers. I sat twiddling my thumbs while you were out doing I don’t know what all!
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle (one's) thumbs

To do little or nothing; be idle.
See also: thumb, twiddle
References in periodicals archive ?
A standard singer with little detectable range, personality or sense of humor, Beyonce, like many of her competitors, must rely on a chorus line of expensive producers, writers and knob twiddlers to fashion her wares.
For low-frequency performance, a woofer is placed in each front door, and another -- a stronger, more moisture-resistant Nd woofer -- is mounted on the rear deck, along with two additional mid/high-range Twiddlers.
MY friends at Stick Twiddlers will try to break four gaming world records next Friday.
It's a fine reminder that in today's world, knob twiddlers rank alongside string pluckers or velum strikers.
They want gamers to join their bid to set several world records, including the Stick Twiddlers team's attempt to play Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption for 50 hours.
The album is co-produced by Craig Leon, who worked on their very first single X Offender, while Good Boys comes complete with a raft of remixes from legendary twiddlers like Giorgio Moroder and Arthur Baker and such modern hot-shots as Scissor Sisters, A1 People and Easy.
In this consumer-obsessed world it seems there's nothing safe from professional twiddlers set on improving or adding extras.
AIR: Premiers Symptomes (Virgin) - An old one from 1997 but the French twiddlers still wipe the floor with most of the turgid grooves around.
His confidence had picked up and he scoured the room for hair twiddlers and sideways glances.
Collectively, knob twiddlers Trevor Horn, Lol Creme, Stephen Lipson and superstar session drummer Ash Soan, have been responsible for more than 200 hit singles.
bedroom twiddlers with synth handclaps and breathy vocals.
THE Velvet Underground's John Cale and Roxy Music's Brian Eno have allowed generations of bedroom twiddlers to create their own soundscapes.
There have been a few changes to the steering-wheel mounted twiddlers and buttons and to the heater controls but what weren't broken ain't need to be fixed.
The first generation of acid housers adopted neo-prog twiddlers as their post-club soundtrack of choice.