twiddle

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Related to twiddled: 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 ?
When a disordered child is twiddling, either hold his or her hand or the object being twiddled.
VW twiddled its thumbs for ages about whether to build a production Microbus but eventually decided against.
Blues had the chance to sign Paul Scharner in the summer but twiddled their thumbs and lost out.
Alistair Baker, Northumbrian Water communications manager, said: "We re-zoned the supply to customers - twiddled the valves - after the burst and everyone was back on supply quickly.
Elektra) was produced, engineered and mixed by Malcolm Burn, who has twiddled the knobs for Patti Smith, U2 and Iggy Pop.
DEALERS twiddled their thumbs today and the FTSE ended virtually unchanged down 0.
Tony Visconti, sometime producer of David Bowie, T-Rex and Thin Lizzy, twiddled the knobs.