the back of (one's) hand

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the back of (one's) hand

1. A rejection, snub, or rebuke; a display of contempt or scorn for someone or something. She met their accusations with the back of her hand. I give the back of my hand to anyone who says I'm not a good parent.
2. Used to represent one's complete knowledge of or familiarity with something. Usually used after the verb "know." I've read this book so many times, I know it like the back of my hand. You should ask Samantha for directions—she knows this town like the back of her hand.
See also: back, hand, of

back of one's hand

Rejection or contempt, as in Unimpressed with him, she gave the back of her hand to his suggestion. This phrase is usually the object of a verb such as give or show. [Second half of 1700s] Back of the hand similarly means "an insult" in the term back-handed compliment (see under left-handed compliment) but has a quite different meaning in know like the back of one's hand (see under know like a book).
See also: back, hand, of
References in classic literature ?
He had no more expression than the back of my hand. His clothing was a dirty gray.
Craig Lennox Our GP expert will answer your questions every week Q What is the aching lump on the back of my hand? A It could be a ganglion.
The 26-year-old former St Edward's college student said he knows the coastline like "the back of my hand" having spent two years as a lifeguard plucking people to safety from its choppy waters.
But I know that famous photo like the back of my hand.
I stood on one leg with my eyes closed, I counted backwards from 100 in sevens and I pinched the skin on the back of my hand to see how long it took to go back to normal.
Down here I rub bookshelves and tables with the back of my hand
I wanted desperately to wipe my mouth with the back of my hand, to remove with my pure white skin any trace of this defiling substance.
I grieve at the river impacting the back of my hand, hollowing out my palm.
"I always apply a drop of the tanning liquid to the back of one hand, then rub the back of my hands together, making sure I cover the backs of both hands evenly.
He said: "When I get tired, I put my two feet back firmly on the ground and put the back of my hands on my knees and do my chakra healing.
I'M only 63, a keen gard-ener and I have dreaded age spots on the back of my hands and arms.