throw up one's hands

throw up (one's) hands

To submit or give up. I'm ready to throw up my hands after trying to train this unruly puppy. Don't just throw up your hands—keep trying.
See also: hand, throw, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

throw up one's hands

Indicate or express utter hopelessness. For example, Jim was getting nowhere so he threw up his hands and abandoned the argument. This idiom alludes to a traditional gesture for giving up.
See also: hand, throw, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

throw up one's hands, to

To express despair, frustration, or exasperation. Although this gesture must be very old indeed, the expression appeared in print only from the late nineteenth century. George M. Fenn used it in The Double Knot (1890): “The woman threw up her hands and reeled.”
See also: throw, up
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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