Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

WORD ORIGIN

1540s, "to trifle," of unknown origin; of the fingers, first recorded 1670s. Figurative phrase twiddle one's thumbs "have nothing to do" is recorded from 1846; to twirl one's thumbs in the same sense is recorded from 1816. Related: Twiddled; twiddling.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR TWIDDLE THUMBS

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.