burn (one's) fingers

(redirected from burning his fingers)

burn (one's) fingers

To suffer an unpleasant or ruinous consequence (especially the loss of money) for some action, often such that one becomes unwilling or reluctant to do it again. During the boom times, countless would-be investors put everything they owned into shady investment deals, and most of them ended up burning their fingers badly.
See also: burn, finger

burn one's fingers

Harm oneself, as in I'm staying away from risky stocks; I've burned my fingers often enough. Some believe this expression came from a legend about a monkey who gets a cat to pull its chestnuts out of the fire (see cat's paw); others hold it is from an English proverb: "Burn not thy fingers to snuff another's candle" (James Howell, English Proverbs, 1659). [c. 1700]
See also: burn, finger

burn your fingers (or get your fingers burned/burnt)

suffer unpleasant consequences as a result of your actions.
1998 Times An American buyer remains a possibility, although it is not entirely clear why any would want to risk getting their fingers burnt twice.
See also: burn, finger
References in classic literature ?
And we thought that some fool of an Englishman was burning his fingers with those shares.
13 (ANI): Former Australian leg spinner Shane Warne said Tuesday that he is confident about playing Cricket Australia's Big Bash League (BBL) despite burning his fingers.
Benedict used this to his advantage and looked as if he enjoyed fumbling with the lighters and burning his fingers.
And by the time Foster parried Omelyanchuk's drive at his near post midway through the second-half, Fabio Capello was entitled to conclude it is safe to let him loose in the kitchen again without fear of him burning his fingers on the hob.
He threw buckets of water, but when he pushed the door to try to get inside it collapsed, burning his fingers.
The boy held the lighted paper through the broken window but dropped it when it started burning his fingers," said Mr Hodgkinson.