right-hand man

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right-hand man

One's primary or most trusted assistant. Not necessarily a man. I can always rely on Jake to help me—he's been my right-hand man for years now.
See also: man

right-hand man

Also, right-hand woman. A trusted helper, as in Give it to Jill, she's my right-hand man. Based on the idea that in most people the right hand is the stronger of the two, this idiom today usually disregards gender, as in the example. However, in the the 17th and 18th centuries it also meant a soldier in a post of command on the right side of a cavalry unit, and then always denoted a man. [c. 1800]
See also: man

your right-hand man

or

your right-hand woman

COMMON Someone's right-hand man or right-hand woman is their close assistant and the person they trust to help and support them in everything they do. He was always by her side and supported her in everything she did. He was her right-hand man and he travelled with her everywhere. You'd be Oliver's right-hand woman. He needs somebody he can really rely on, don't you, Oliver? Note: Less often, people talk about someone's right-hand person. Ricard was her husband's right-hand person and took an active part in the broadcasting business and all other ventures he was involved in. Note: This expression is commonly used to talk about politics or business. Note: There are several possible explanations for this expression. One is that the right side of the body is traditionally associated with skill and strength. Another is that it may refer to the soldier who was responsible for the right side of a troop of horses. Also, in the past, the position on the right of the leader at political or social gatherings was the place of honour.
See also: man

your ˌright-hand ˈman

(informal) an assistant who you trust with everything: ‘I’d like to introduce you to Peter Davies, my right-hand man. He’ll help you when I am away.’
See also: man
References in periodicals archive ?
A statement last night confirmed Harte had an unspecified operation and it's thought his former right hand man Tony Donnelly is set to take charge of turn to page 47 FROM BACK PAGE Tyrone for tomorrow's crunch Division One clash with Kerry at Healy Park, Omagh.
Just hours earlier, the radical cleric, who has been described by a judge as Osama bin Laden's right hand man in Europe, was arrested at his London home by UK Border Agency (UKBA) officers.
With Zelnik taking the position of Winick's right hand man at the firm--which has over 25 brokers--the pair have gone on to broker a streak of big leases over the past decade.
Pakistani troops unleashed renewed artillery and air assaults today on an area near the Afghanistan border where Osama bin Laden's right hand man is believed to be cornered.
It has been reported that Tariq Aziz, who was Saddam Hussein's right hand man, wants to move to Britain.
A MERSEYSIDE rail union officer is going full steam for the job of right hand man to rail guards' general secretary Bob Crow.
Gotti, 51, was snared after police convinced his right hand man Salvatore Gravano to testify against his boss in return for leniency.