burn (one's) fingers

(redirected from burning their 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

burn one's fingers, to

To hurt or harm oneself. Some writers believe this term comes from the old story about a monkey who persuades a cat to pull its chestnuts out of the fire (see cat’s paw). Others believe it comes from an old English proverb stated by James Howell in 1659 as, “Burn not thy fingers to snuff another man’s candle,” and by Samuel Palmer in 1810, “The busiebody burns his own fingers.” The connotation of interfering in someone else’s affairs has vanished, and the modern cliché means simply to get hurt by performing any hazardous or foolhardy action.
See also: burn, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Melbourne, FL, November 26, 2015 --(PR.com)-- "Consumers are tired of burning their fingers using small conventional brushes and want an affordable yet fast grill cleaning tool to make the job of cleaning their grill easier, healthier, and safer.
A CUP OF HOT TEA CAN BE QUITE THE HEALTHFUL BEVERAGE, but many consumers are put off by the prospect of burning their fingers squeezing the tea bag before imbibing.
Further side handles were needed to allow the consumer to heat the meal in the microwave then move it without burning their fingers. To make the bowls stackable on-shelf, RPC designers also included a recess in the base of the pot to accommodate the handle of the pack below.
'This could explain why, despite the popularity of bargain shopping, more and more Brits are getting themselves into serious debt.': Borrowers risk burning their fingers if they go over their overdraft limits:Bank customers were warned yesterday that they risk getting their fingers burned with high charges if they fail to keep a close watch on overdraft reforms.
A DESIGN student has invented a pie holder to stop football fans burning their fingers at matches.
A DESIGN student has invented a pie holder to stop football fans burning their fingers. Jane Aukim came up with the plastic pot for her final- year project at Coventry University.
A design student has invented a pie holder to prevent football fans burning their fingers while enjoying their half-time snack.