be all thumbs
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British pronunciation/biː ˈɔːl θˈʌmz/
American pronunciation/biː ˈɔːl θˈʌmz/
01

to act in a very clumsy or awkward manner

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to [be] all thumbs definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "be all thumbs" and when to use it?

The idiom "be all thumbs" has its origin in the notion of someone being clumsy or uncoordinated with their hands or fingers. The phrase signifies a lack of dexterity or finesse in handling objects or performing fine motor skills, as if all their fingers were thumbs. It is a figurative expression highlighting a person's clumsiness or lack of skill in tasks that require manual coordination.

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Example
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John's attempt at juggling proved that he was all thumbs, as he dropped the balls within seconds of starting.
Despite his enthusiasm for woodworking, Mark was all thumbs with a saw, frequently making crooked cuts.
Whenever he tried to fix things around the house, he was all thumbs and ended up making more of a mess.
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Meaning of "To [be] all thumbs"
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