sit on (one's) hands

(redirected from sitting on my hands)

sit on (one's) hands

1. To refrain from acting, intervening, or helping. They may not have broken the law themselves, but the CEOs certainly sat on their hands and allowed these illegal activities to happen unchecked. I feel so guilty for sitting on my hands while my son was going through such a difficult time in his life. Why don't you actually help us fix the issue, instead of just sitting on your hands and complaining?
2. To refrain from or refuse to applaud (someone or something). Our show really depends on the audience engaging with the performance, so it's always very off-putting when the people watching just sit on their hands the whole time. I made a point of sitting on my hands while everyone else cheered on the boss's idiotic plan. The whole crowd sat on its hands at the end of my comedy routine, which was incredibly demoralizing.
See also: hand, on, sit

sit on one's hands

Fig. to do nothing; to fail to help. (See also sit on its hands.) When we needed help from Mary, she just sat on her hands. We need the cooperation of everyone. You can't sit on your hands!
See also: hand, on, sit

sit on its hands

 and sit on their hands
Fig. [for an audience] to refuse to applaud. (See also sit on one's hands.) The performance was really quite good, but the audience sat on its hands. They sat on their hands during the first act.
See also: hand, on, sit

sit on one's hands

Take no action; also, fail to applaud. For example, Instead of making a new will, George is sitting on his hands, or The matinee audience was apathetic, sitting on their hands for the whole performance. Both usages of this metaphor for passivity date from the first half of the 1900s.
See also: hand, on, sit

sit on your hands

COMMON
1. If you sit on your hands, you do not do something that you ought to be doing. The troops there are beginning to feel quite embarrassed about sitting on their hands while refugees stream through the lines with tales of horror. The pace of development in Formula One is so fast that if you sit on your hands you quickly regret it.
2. If you sit on your hands, you wait for the best time to take action rather than doing something too quickly. Force yourself to read the draft in its entirety. Sit on your hands. Give the draft a chance before you begin reworking it.
See also: hand, on, sit

sit on your hands

take no action.
1998 Times The England selectors, historically, find reasons to sit on their hands.
See also: hand, on, sit

sit on (one's) hands

To fail to act.
See also: hand, on, sit