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putty in someone's hands

A person who is easily influenced or malleable, as in Dean adored his little granddaughter; he was putty in her hands . This metaphoric term, first recorded in 1924, transfers the malleable quality of putty to human behavior. Also see twist around one's finger
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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