sticky fingers

sticky fingers

noun Informal.
a propensity to steal.

Origin:
1930–35

sticky-fingered [stik-ee-fing-gerd] , adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

sticky fingers

A propensity to steal, as in You'd better not leave any cash around; she's known for her sticky fingers. This metaphor makes it seem as if valuables adhere naturally to a thief's fingers. [Colloquial; late 1800s]

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