right-hand man

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right-hand man

One's primary or most trusted assistant. 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