the back of (one's) hand

(redirected from the back of someone's hand)

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 periodicals archive ?
In the meantime, I'll bet a pound to David Beckham's pay packet that Sir Alex felt the back of someone's hand when he was small.