Photo by J. Schmitz-Leuffen
We HAD to stop to photograph the sculpture of a hand along Lake Léman, Geneva, which started me thinking of the word hand, that body part at the end of my arm with fingers and thumbs and handy to do all sorts of things including typing out this blog.
The word hand comes down from Hant in German through Middle English.
But hand is more than at tool for picking up stuff. It is a word that can be twisted and shaped into a whole set of meanings.
Attach it to kerchief and we have something to blow our noses far more hygienic than using the hand directly.
If we're good at something we're handy and we use our hands to make handicrafts.
Hand it over means give up whatever.
Hands up said by a crook or a policeman does not mean good news, but a whole bunch of raised hands at a concert shows people moving with the music.
Laying on of hands can mean an attempt to heal.
Doing things together that have nothing to do with the appendage itself is hand-in-hand such as politics and corruption go hand-in-hand but that doesn't mean that congressman and the politician go skipping down Washington, D.C. streets holding hands.
On the other hand means a different point of view as if we wrote our opinions on our hands.
Sometimes a certain part of the hand is focused on such as palm of your hand which usually means something not material such as I thought I had that job in the palm of my hand, but they gave it to someone else.
In cards we're dealt hands, but they are pieces of hard paper not actually palms, fingers and thumbs.
A left-handed compliment is indirect such as that suit you're wearing is nicer than yesterday's.
To take something in hand is to take control. A teacher took the rowdy classroom in hand, but she didn't hold the students in her hand.
I've just scratched the surface of the uses of the word hand. Not bad for four little letters.