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Related to twiddling: Bit twiddling

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 ?
Unfortunately, the two state legislators who suddenly find themselves in the power seats are twiddling their thumbs and playing reckless partisan politics.
Warren, Ml), sensors on the vehicle might detect a panic situation--a stopped object, whether another car, a tree, or a person--approaching at a rapid rate while you're twiddling with the radio, Intelligent, electronically based "anticipatory braking" might "decide" to initiate a 0.
If, as he states, that he only performs his duties to the DSS twice a month, how does he believe that it will be hard to find enough retired doctors to do the job, when they are twiddling their old professional thumbs thirty days of the month?
If I knew the future of dance I'd be doing something about it, not sitting here, twiddling my computer and writing about it.
Just back from an early morning celebrity auction at Chicago's Planet Hollywood that raised nearly $70,000 for the foundation in his name, Woods is now twiddling with a golf club in a corporate suite inside the Four Seasons Hotel high above Lake Michigan.
If the average cable operator is anything like mine, that housesitter's going to be twiddling his thumbs on the employee's living room couch until the first Tuesday before Armageddon.
Not only does the law assume that business can never be trusted, but during the 1980s, when Ronald Reagan's Environmental Protection Agency was twiddling its thumbs, Congress passed a number of statutes that assume regulators cannot be trusted either.
My period of doing computer simulations and twiddling knobs is over now.
Finally, "General Release," a show organized by the British Council to present the work of yet another group of young British artists, includes a video image of a pair of twiddling thumbs - a fitting image for an art scene passing time while waiting for clarity, a whole generation of artists inching forward, fearful of making a mistake.
way to keep cool in their cars with a lot less twiddling and fiddling
And both firms agree that CIM eliminates counterproductive dial twiddling, which helps stabilize product quality.
The author drives home the point that getting a good photograph is not just about twiddling buttons or dials.
Do they have a conviction on any policy or do they simply pursue a policy of habitual flip-flopping, and/or do they simply sit at home twiddling their thumbs waiting for the extremely generous salary and expenses cheque to arrive?
They are not sitting about twiddling their thumbs, they work crazy hours and risk their lives driving in horrendous weather.