Sticky fingers

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Sticky fingers is an idiom that has been in use for over one hundred years. We will examine the meaning of the idiom sticky fingers, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Sticky fingers is a phrase that describes someone who steals things, someone who has a propensity for taking things that don’t belong to him, someone who is a thief. Most often, the idiom sticky fingers describes a petty thief like a pickpocket. The criminal in question is said to have sticky fingers. The expression sticky fingers came into use in the mid-1800s and calls to mind an image of paper money sticking to someone’s fingers, as if the criminal weren’t really planning to steal.


Diners across the city have sticky fingers — and not just the kind that come from eating chicken wings. (The New York Post)

Still, it’s hard to point fingers at a kleptomaniac when you have sticky fingers too. (The Guardian)

“Longwe has sticky fingers and has been stealing from me.” (The South African)

Still, just in case anyone has sticky fingers or unkind intentions, there’s a little added insurance so the weed stays put. (The News Journal)