thumb a ride

thumb a ride

To hitchhike. (Done by putting one's thumb in the air in order to signal passing cars that one is looking for a ride.) I spent the summer thumbing rides along the west coast. We didn't have any money for a taxi, so we had to thumb a ride home.
See also: ride, thumb
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

thumb a ride

 and hitch a ride
to get a ride from a passing motorist; to make a sign with one's thumb that indicates to passing drivers that one is asking for a ride. My car broke down on the highway, and I had to thumb a ride to get back to town. Sometimes it's dangerous to hitch a ride with a stranger.
See also: ride, thumb
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

thumb a ride

tv. to beg a ride; to stand at the side of the street and signal to cars with one’s thumb for a ride; to hitchhike. I’ll thumb a ride to get there if I have to.
See also: ride, thumb
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
With the emergence of the "information highway," the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Office of Small Business Activities (OSBA) wants to ensure that minority business owners are not left on the side of the road, trying to thumb a ride. Of particular concern: the FCC's plan for a spring 1994 auction of more than 4,000 personal communications services (PCS) licenses.