Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

dab hand

a dab hand at

Meaning and Synonyms:
– expert
– adept at
– one skillful at
– a person who is an expert at a particular activity
– someone specially skilled at a task

Usage:
The noun phrase a dab hand, is usually followed by at.

Examples:
1. My friend was too weak in all computer studies, but now he’s become a dab hand at Internet and Software.
2. Try one spoon of this pasta and you’ll agree she is a dab hand at making great Italian foods.
3. George is a dab hand at tennis, he always in this game.
4. Barbara is a dab hand at chopping onions fast and without tears.
5. For our new car garage, we are required a experienced mechanic who is a dab hand at engine repairing.
6. My 4 years old son is amazingly a dab hand at using mobile phones.
7. If you want to be a dab hand at chess you need to work hard.
8. Practice makes it perfect, keep practicing, you will be a dab hand at playing guitars one day.
9. I am a dab hand in touch typing on computer keyboard and typewriters more than you do on mobile phones to send texts.

Origin:
Great Britain, [1950-60s]

Dab hand apparently originated as Yorkshire dialect pre-1800, but didn’t become widely used in Britain until the 1950s, according to a Google Ngram. Following a familiar pattern, it peaked in Britain in about 1990, while U.S. use continues to rapidly increase (though it’s still used less than half as often here as there).

The first recorded use of dab by itself in a related sense is in the Athenian Mercury of 1691. It’s also in the Dictionary of the Canting Crew of 1698-99: a dab there is “an exquisite expert” in some form of roguery.

Dab Synonyms:
– daub, wipe, touch lightly, pat, small amount, bit, blob.

Hand Synonyms:
– give, hand over, pass, offer, tender, supply, furnish, dispense.

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