hand to mouth, from

Idioms & Phrases

hand to mouth, from

With only the bare essentials, existing precariously. For example, After she lost her job she was living from hand to mouth. This expression alludes to eating immediately whatever is at hand. [c. 1500]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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