Talk to the hand

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Talk to the hand is a relatively new idiom. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic phrase talk to the hand, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Talk to the hand is a phrase that tells someone to stop talking, to be quiet, that you are not interested in hearing what that person has to say. The full idiom is talk to the hand because the face ain’t listening. Like many idioms and proverbs, a partial quote is usually sufficient to convey one’s meaning. The image is of someone holding up one hand in front of the speaker’s face as a gesture that means to stop. The idiom talk to the hand became popular in the 1990s and was introduced by an American television comedy, Martin. Using the phrase talk to the hand is a vague insult. It is dismissive, letting the speaker know that he is unimportant.


This is a poor day to ask for permission when talking to a parent or a boss because their response will likely be, “Talk to the hand!” (The National Post)

US offers to host APEC summit; Malaysia says, ‘talk to the hand’ (Business Day)

TALK TO THE HAND Love Island’s Rykard Jenkins slams Joanna for ‘unacceptable’ behaviour as she grabs Michael’s face and demands he leave the villa (The Sun)

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