thumb a ride

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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 ?
As an intel operative, Galvin sounds like an experienced war correspondent: "I became a circuit rider, traveling from one unit to another, thumbing rides to anyplace where I could pick up news and fit the pieces into a mosaic." (180)
It probably won't be long before thumbing rides will face an extinction as inevitable as that threatening the Big Three themselves.
As the Boston Globe reminded us, the reporters in Vietnam were on their own, thumbing rides from unit to unit in their efforts to puncture the military hyperbole.