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'Safe pair of hands' - origin

Posted by Raja on July 15, 2004

The given meaning of safe pair of hands in Phrase Finder ('A reliable, if somewhat dull, person who can be entrusted not to make a mistake with a task.')seems ok, but not the origin.

The origin is from UK, sure, but comes from the game of cricket where this phrase is most often used. It refers to a fielder or wicket-keeper who rarely drops a catch.

The Phrase finder origin for 'safe pair of hands' (UK origin. Applied to politicians or diplomats who were given sensitive work that required careful handling. ) does not appear correct.