live from hand to mouth

(redirected from live hand-to-mouth)

live from hand to mouth

To be extremely poor, having only enough money to provide food and shelter each month. I had to live from hand to mouth during most of college, since I could only get part-time jobs that paid minimum wage.
See also: hand, live, mouth
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

live from hand to mouth

Fig. to live in poor circumstances. When both my parents were out of work, we lived from hand to mouth. We lived from hand to mouth during the war. Things were very difficult.
See also: hand, live, mouth
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

live from hand to mouth

or

live hand-to-mouth

COMMON Someone who lives from hand to mouth or lives hand-to-mouth always struggles to afford the things they need. I have a wife and two children and we live from hand to mouth on what I earn. I just can't live hand-to-mouth, it's too frightening. Note: Hand-to-mouth is also used before nouns to describe a situation where someone struggles to afford what they need. Unloved and uncared-for, they live a meaningless hand-to-mouth existence.
See also: hand, live, mouth
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
Millions of our small entrepreneurs live hand-to-mouth because they are forever crippled by usurious loans.
Mike Kelly, of KPMG, said: "With the cost of living still high, the squeeze on household finances remains acute, meaning the reality for many is that they are forced to live hand-to-mouth.
Lady Georgiana Rannoch continues to live hand-to-mouth, yet manages to eat well by landing plum assignments.
But in a televised interview in February, Morsi announced more reforms as well as the government's attempt to help those with low wages and those who live hand-to-mouth.
''As the international community is taking a harder look at North Korea, I'm worried about the future of the country and its people,'' said a 32-year-old Korean worker at a clothing shop, while a 51-year-old South Korean resident of Japan lamented, saying, ''As people in North Korea barely live hand-to-mouth, what on earth are the country's leaders doing?''
But, most crucially, far too many of them live hand-to-mouth lives blighted by too little money and too much stress.
For those of us who genuinely care about our fellow human beings, we need to show mercy and consideration when we are faced with those who live hand-to-mouth daily.
Because Amal was an asylum seeker, she was banned from working and had to live hand-to-mouth.
While life in Russia has begun to improve under President Vladimir Putin, inflation and high unemployment rates mean that many Russians still live hand-to-mouth. Our World History play about the Russian Revolution shows another momentous time in the nation's history when the fall of the Romanov dynasty laid the groundwork for Communism and the creation of the Soviet Union (see p.
Companies can no longer live hand-to-mouth, quarter by quarter, just to satisfy the stock market.
Indeed, workers who live hand-to-mouth and need 100 percent of each paycheck for food and bills pay an income tax equal to 100 percent of their net worth.
"With the cost of living still high, the squeeze on household finances remains acute, meaning that the reality for many is that they are forced to live hand-to-mouth. The figures released today show that there is still more to be done if we are to eradicate in-work poverty.