twiddle

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Related to twiddling: Bit twiddling

twiddle (one's) thumbs

To wait 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

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 ?
I don't want to be sat twiddling my thumbs on the bench.
When twiddling alone has seemed insufficient, I have spoken to it in a fatherly manner before tapping its face more sternly, but it has never obeyed me.
While waiting for their car to shoot out, riders tightly clenched the lap bar with visibly sweaty palms, vigorously chomping their chewing gum and twiddling their thumbs.
Thousands of punters were left watching two blokes on stage twiddling their joysticks.
It meant viewers had to make do with the voices of local commentators, while Sir Ian Botham, David Lloyd, Paul Allott and Nick Knight were left twiddling their thumbs.
A third of those surveyed by a specialist games website said they would be happier twiddling on their control pads than cuddling up to their partners.
The first computer-generated feature from Pixar, a group of geeks who'd been twiddling their thumbs out at George Lucas' SkyWalker ranch until another visionary geek - the late Steve Jobs - saw the potential in what Pixar was trying to do.
The hospital car park was practically empty the other day and attendants were standing about twiddling their thumbs.
Football odds compilers, who have been twiddling their fingers over the last couple of weeks, have come up with some crazy specials.
There's no danger of the band twiddling their thumbs before their performance.
Our record Because Of The Times has been finished for about a year and we've been sitting here twiddling our thumbs waiting for the label to put it out, so we're ready to continue writing songs.
It's time the Government stopped twiddling its thumbs over this issue and put a proper screening programme in place.
But bosses at Dunfermline's Digital Bridges say there is more to the job than just twiddling your thumbs.
Yet too many tradesmen and companies believe we should sit at home twiddling our thumbs, ready to answer the door if they bother to turn up.
Moyes has refused to discuss the issue all week but directors must be concerned that their best-paid player, who has 18 months of his contract left, is now sitting at home twiddling his thumbs Moyes, who has seen his side slip into the Premiership relegation zone, said: ``If players have been complacent, that is down to me.