under the thumb

If you are under the thumb, you are completely controlled by someone else. This control is easily recognised by others but not necessarily by you. His girlfriend won’t let him go to watch any football matches on Saturdays. He’s totally under the thumb.

all thumbs

If you are all thumbs, you are very clumsy and you keep dropping things. Your hands fail to do their job properly. You might be suffering from nerves or fear or you might just be very tired. I was all thumbs when I was paying for my shopping and I dropped my money everywhere.

a rule of thumb

A rule of thumb is a general rule or principle that is based on experience rather than on scientific evidence. As a rule of thumb, I check the oil levels in my car on the first Saturday in every month. This means that I try to check the levels of oil in my car once […]

out of one’s depth

If you are out of your depth, you don’t have enough knowledge or experience to do what you are supposed to be doing. Imagine that you are not a very good swimmer and you are suddenly in water that is too deep for you and you feel out of control. You are out of your […]