twiddle


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Related to twiddle: twiddle thumbs

twiddle (one's) thumbs

To wait idly because one cannot take action or has nothing to do at the moment. Although the phrase refers to an actual movement of the hand (in which one's fingers are interlaced and each thumb is brought over the other in succession), the phrase is usually used figuratively. I'm just twiddling my thumbs here in the ER, waiting for someone to give me an update on Claire's condition.
See also: thumb, twiddle

be twiddling (one's) thumbs

To be waiting idly because one cannot take action or has nothing to do at the moment. Although "twiddling one's thumbs" is an actual gesture (in which one's fingers are interlaced and each thumb is brought over the other in succession), the phrase is usually used figuratively. Oh, I'm just twiddling my thumbs in the ER, waiting for someone to give me an update on Claire's condition.
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle one's thumbs

Fig. to pass the time by twirling one's thumbs. What am I supposed to do while waiting for you? Sit here and twiddle my thumbs? Don't sit around twiddling your thumbs. Get busy!
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle with something

to play with something; to play with something, using one's fingers; to fiddle with something. I asked Jason to stop twiddling with the pencils. Someone is twiddling with the stereo controls.
See also: twiddle

twiddle one's thumbs

Be bored or idle, as in There I sat for three hours, twiddling my thumbs, while he made call after call. This expression alludes to the habit of idly turning one's thumbs about one another during a period of inactivity. [Mid-1800s]
See also: thumb, twiddle

be twiddling your thumbs

If you are twiddling your thumbs, you are waiting with nothing useful to do. I'd far rather be cleaning than twiddling my thumbs waiting for the boys to wake up. There is a lot of team work too and no one is ever left twiddling their thumbs.
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle your thumbs

be bored or idle because you have nothing to do.
See also: thumb, twiddle

ˌtwiddle your ˈthumbs

(informal) do nothing while you are waiting for something to happen: I had to sit at home twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the phone to ring.
If you twiddle your thumbs, you move them around each other while your fingers are joined together.
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle one’s thumbs

tv. to do nothing; to wait nervously, playing with one’s fingers. I sat twiddling my thumbs while you were out doing I don’t know what all!
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle (one's) thumbs

To do little or nothing; be idle.
See also: thumb, twiddle
References in periodicals archive ?
She said: "Anna Gordon, a teacher at Llay CP School asked whether children could make twiddle blankets for residents of our care homes who have dementia.
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Twiddle then bowled in, with Gray following suit with a pair before some decisive leads from Twiddle earned them a 15-13 success.
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Twiddle the dial for some foreign station, Radio Luxemburg, I think it was called, Played the best pop music ever.
I just knew I had to do something and I just couldn't sit there and twiddle my thumbs.
RADIO listeners in Leam-ington will be able to twiddle their dials and tune into a temporary new station later this year.
Jack and Martha twiddle their thumbs as Rachel pushes all the buttons and pulls every string she knows to get the outcome determined as quickly as possible.
A radio is a wonderful companion and with a swift twiddle of the knob you can pass by all the cheap music stations and find a bert hat either Radio 4 or Radio Merseyside.
A Lots of people twiddle with their hair but Trichotillomania is when you pull out the hairs strand by strand.
Check out the head slightly cocked to one side, the over-long hesitation between phrases, the hands held at chest height with the occasional twiddle of the pinky ring.
But he fears his England prospects would nosedive if he was forced to twiddle his thumbs as Edwin van der Sar's understudy.
What are you going to do, sit around and twiddle your thumbs?
Tomorrow he jets to the Caribbean to shake hands, stare at dancers, eat dinners, twiddle with his cuff-links and play golf.