upper hand

(redirected from whip hand)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

*upper hand (on someone)

Fig. a position superior to someone; the advantage of someone. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) John is always trying to get the upper hand on someone. He never ends up having the upper hand, though.
See also: hand, upper

upper hand

Also, whip hand. A dominating or controlling position, as in Once you let Jeff get the upper hand there'll be no stopping him, or When it comes to checkers, my son-in-law generally has the whip hand. The first term alludes to an ancient game in which each player in turn grasps a stick with one hand, beginning from the bottom, and the last who can put his hand at the top wins. Its figurative use dates from the late 1400s. The variant alludes to the driver who holds the whip in a horse-drawn vehicle; it was being used figuratively by the late 1600s.
See also: hand, upper
References in periodicals archive ?
What was attractive to us about Whip Hand Cosmetics was their focus on producing extremely high-quality, hand-made products in Detroit that have earned them street credibility with pro makeup artists, in a very short period of time.
EXHALL TIGERS under-10s tamed Nuneaton Bears in the Nuneaton & Bedworth Mini Football League with Scott MacDonald holding the whip hand with a five-goal performance.
As a result, tomato growers in Puglia have suddenly found themselves holding the whip hand in a sellers' market.
St Marys have held the whip hand for some time and that remains the case - but it's getting tighter all the time.
Whyte had an agreement - or so he thought - with Duff and Phelps for a swift, clinical administration that would leave him with the whip hand and a sellable football club.
Tranmere Reserves 3 Macclesfield Reserves 0 TRANMERE Reserves held the whip hand throughout a comfortable win over Macclesfield.
WHIP HAND Christophe Soumillon riding Cirrus Des Aigles at Ascot
Brighton, however, held the whip hand in the dying minutes when they went close to adding to their lead.
The bulk of their finances coming from central government, in our case the National Assembly, but the buck doesn't stop there as Westminster has the whip hand where finance is concerned and decides what is available for local government in England and Wales.
Still, it's a comfort to know that we still hold the whip hand against all cricket-loving nations.
GORGEOUS supermodel NAOMI CAMPBELL has the whip hand over Ali G in his new movie - in his dreams
There is no doubt as to whom has the whip hand in buying pink salmon at present.
The Ryton boys held the whip hand with the ivories 4-2 although the visitors took the honours at cards by the same scoreline.
Trade unions are to be given the whip hand in their dealings with employers under controversial new strike laws being proposed by the Government, a leading Birmingham lawyer has warned.
Suddenly Labour leader Ed Miliband has the whip hand over Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.