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be putty in (one's) hands
To be easy to control or bend to one's wishes. (Putty is a very malleable material.) Oh, come on, Julia is putty in our hands—we can definitely get her to help us with this prank.
slang A foolish, stupid, or idiotic person—i.e., someone with putty for brains. Sometimes hyphenated or spelled as a single word. It's no surprise to me that the country's economy is tanking with that putty head in charge. How can you be such a putty head about this? Only a putty-head like you would think that.
slang Foolish; stupid; idiotic. Sometimes hyphenated or spelled as a single word. It's no surprise to me that the country's economy is tanking with that putty headed dolt in charge. How can you be so putty-headed about this?
putty in (one's) hands
Easy to control or bend to one's wishes. (Putty is a very malleable material.) Oh, come on, Julia is putty in our hands—we can definitely get her to help us with this prank.
up to putty
Worthless; totally ruined or gone wrong. Primarily heard in Australia. All our hard work will be up to putty if they pull their investments now. It's no wonder things have gotten so bad—the whole political system is up to putty!
*putty in someone's hands
Fig. [of someone] easily influenced by someone else; excessively willing to do what someone else wishes. (Putty is soft and malleable. *Typically: be ~; seem like ~.) Bob's wife is putty in his hands. She never thinks for herself. Jane is putty in her mother's hands. She always does exactly what her mother says.
putty in someone's hands
A person who is easily influenced or malleable, as in Dean adored his little granddaughter; he was putty in her hands. This metaphoric term, first recorded in 1924, transfers the malleable quality of putty to human behavior. Also see twist around one's finger.
putty in your hands
If someone is putty in your hands, they will do anything you ask them to do. Simon proved to be putty in his hands. I was completely in awe of him — I was putty in his hands. Note: You can also just say that someone is putty. Sometimes he'd do something like bring her a box of chocolates and she would be putty for a week. Note: Putty is a thick paste that is used to fix sheets of glass into window frames.
be like putty (or wax) in someone's handsbe easily manipulated or dominated by someone.
1975 Sam Selvon Moses Ascending Bob was there, and I gave him a little bit of crumpet, and afterwards he was like putty in my hands.
up to puttybelow the required standard; useless. Australian informal
(like) putty in somebody’s ˈhands(informal) willing to do anything somebody wants or tells you to do: As soon as she starts crying, I’m putty in her hands. OPPOSITE: (as) stubborn as a mule
Putty is a soft flexible substance used for fixing glass in windows.