at (one's) elbow

(redirected from at my elbow)
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at (one's) elbow

Close by; readily available. Please stay at your mother's elbow, in case she needs your help. I'm not very creative in the kitchen, so I always have a cookbook at my elbow when I prepare a new dish.
See also: elbow

at someone's elbow

Immediately beside someone, close by, as in The apprentice was constantly at the master's elbow. Why this idiom focuses on the elbow rather than the arm, shoulder, or some other body part is not known. Moreover, it can mean either that someone is so nearby as to constitute a nuisance or in order to readily provide assistance. Either can be meant in the example above. [Mid-1500s]
See also: elbow

at your ˈelbow

very near; within arm’s reach: I always like to have a dictionary at my elbow to check spellings.
See also: elbow

at (one's) elbow

Close at hand; nearby.
See also: elbow
References in classic literature ?
I saw it out of the corner of my eye as I moved on, with him at my elbow. He had fallen back a little and was practically out of my sight, unless I turned my head to look at him.
"Upon my word," he cried at my elbow, "what is it to me whether women are fools or lunatics?
He never came out of the entrance, of that I was certain; yet at the end of several minutes he chuckled at my elbow. Again I ran after him, and again he ran into the cave; but this time I stopped at the mouth.
Always he went into the cave, never did he come out of it, yet always did he arrive there at my elbow and mock me.
Haulbowline Head and Mizzen-mast Hill were at my elbow, the hill bare and dark, the head bound with cliffs forty or fifty feet high and fringed with great masses of fallen rock.