handwriting

(redirected from handwrite)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

have (hand)writing like chicken scratch

To have very poor, messy, and/or illegible handwriting, likened to the marks made in the dirt by a chicken. I can't understand these notes at all, you have handwriting like chicken scratch!
See also: chicken, have, like, scratch

read the (hand)writing on the wall

To notice and interpret apparent signs or indications that something will or is about to happen in the future, especially something bad or unfortunate. The phrase comes from the Biblical story of Daniel, in which the prophet interprets some mysterious writing that a disembodied hand has inscribed on the palace wall, telling King Belshazzar that he will be overthrown. I've read the handwriting on the wall—the company is going under, and I'm not about to go down with it. As usual, the politicians are refusing to read the writing on the wall when one of their foolish plans is obviously about to crash and burn.
See also: on, read, wall

see the (hand)writing on the wall

To notice and interpret apparent signs or indications that something will or is about to happen in the future, especially something bad or unfortunate. The phrase comes from the Biblical story of Daniel, in which the prophet interprets some mysterious writing that a disembodied hand has inscribed on the palace wall, telling King Belshazzar that he will be overthrown. I've seen the handwriting on the wall—the company is going under, and I'm not about to go down with it. As usual, the politicians are refusing to see the writing on the wall when one of their foolish plans is obviously about to crash and burn.
See also: on, see, wall

the (hand)writing is on the wall

There are very apparent signs that something bad will happen in the future. The phrase comes from the Biblical story of Daniel, in which the prophet interprets some mysterious writing that a disembodied hand has inscribed on the palace wall, telling King Belshazzar that he will be overthrown. You need to resign now. The writing is on the wall, and there's no reason you need to go down with this company when it folds. The handwriting is on the wall for many aquatic species, but there is hope that we can make some changes to save some of them.
See also: on, wall

the (hand)writing on the wall

The very apparent signs that something bad will happen in the future. The phrase comes from the Biblical story of Daniel, in which the prophet interprets some mysterious writing that a disembodied hand has inscribed on the palace wall, telling King Belshazzar that he will be overthrown. You need to resign now. The writing on the wall says the company is going to fold, and there's no reason you need to go down with it. The handwriting on the wall bodes poorly for many aquatic species, but there is hope that we can make some changes to save some of them.
See also: on, wall
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

read the handwriting on the wall

Fig. to anticipate what is going to happen by observing small hints and clues. (See also see the (hand)writing on the wall.) I know I am going to be fired. I can read the handwriting on the wall. Can't you read the handwriting on the wall? Can't you see what they are planning?
See also: handwriting, on, read, wall
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

handwriting on the wall

Also, writing on the wall. A warning or presentiment of danger, as in The company was losing money, and seeing the handwriting on the wall, she started to look for another job . This expression comes from the Bible (Daniel 5:5-31), in which the prophet interprets some mysterious writing that a disembodied hand has inscribed on the palace wall, telling King Belshazzar that he will be overthrown.
See also: handwriting, on, wall
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.

the writing is on the wall

mainly BRITISH or

the handwriting is on the wall

mainly AMERICAN
COMMON If you say the writing is on the wall or the handwriting is on the wall, you mean that there are clear signs that a situation is going to become difficult or unpleasant, or that something or someone is going to fail. The writing is clearly on the wall. If we do nothing about it, we shall only have ourselves to blame. The handwriting was on the wall for Peters when she lost the first set 6-1 in less than 20 minutes. Note: You can call something the writing on the wall or the handwriting on the wall when it seems to be a sign of something unpleasant which is likely to happen in the future. He saw the writing on the wall and knew he had to get out of the company before it collapsed. Note: This expression comes from a Bible story in which a mysterious hand appears and writes a message on the wall, announcing that Belshazzar's kingdom will soon come to an end. (Daniel 5)
See also: on, wall, writing
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

the writing is on the wall

there are clear signs that something unpleasant or unwelcome is going to happen.
This phrase comes from the biblical story of Belshazzar's feast, at which a disembodied hand appeared and wrote a message on the wall foretelling the fall of the Babylonian kingdom to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:5, 25–8). A North American variant is the handwriting is on the wall .
1998 Spectator We ought to have spotted the writing on the wall when the dear old Ministry of Works became ‘English Heritage’, packaging the past as a set of limited-edition, special-offer collectables.
See also: on, wall, writing
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

writing on the wall, the

A presentiment or prediction of disaster. The term comes from the Bible (Daniel 5:5–31). During a great feast held by King Belshazzar, a mysterious hand appears and writes some words on the wall. Daniel is called to interpret this message and tells the king it is a sign of his coming downfall. Later that night Belshazzar is killed and Darius of Persia takes over his kingdom. The term is sometimes put as handwriting on the wall.
See also: on, writing
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

handwriting on the wall

A dire warning. The phrase comes from the Book of Daniel, in which the Persian king Belshazaar and his court see a disembodied hand appear during a feast and write on a wall, “Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin.” His seers unable to decipher the words, the king summons Daniel, who, keeping his interpretation streak intact: [see “feet of clay”], reveals that the words refer to Belshazaar's reign and his kingdom being in jeopardy. And sure enough, later that evening the king was murdered and his kingdom given to the Medes, just as Daniel had predicted. “The handwriting on the wall” or “the writing on the wall” came to refer to any prediction or omen that a venture was doomed to failure.
See also: handwriting, on, wall
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
As illustrated in Figure 1, Stage One of learning to handwrite is labelled 'occupation'.
These concrete examples are outlined in the following table, they include the teachers' expectations, how the teacher orchestrated the task and the observable actions the teachers expected to see as the child participates in the task of learning to handwrite.
As outlined in Table 2, Stages of handwriting, teachers' expectations affect their observable practices, and these in turn affect the children's observable actions and experiences of learning to handwrite.
Co-construction acknowledges shared influences that both the teacher and child bring to the task of learning to handwrite. The teacher brings expectations and strategies while the child brings current understanding around the 'wholeness of letters' and participation in the task.
Table 2 provides a starting point to guide a therapist's observation in noticing the complex co-construction of learning to handwrite.
Expectations and tasks change depending on the specific stage of learning to handwrite that the child is experiencing.
These differing stages of handwriting, as identified by the teachers, directly affect how the task of learning to handwrite is experienced by the student.
For more information about Handwrite for Cash please contact Ray Hrach at 301-880-4656 or info@kairosventuregroup.com.
It is also the publisher of the book Handwrite for Cash: Firsthand Advice from Write On Results.
Handwrite for Cash contains chapters on getting started; on marketing; on operations; and on finance.