hand in hand

hand in hand

Meaning

  • close ties or connections
  • in a literal sense, refers to two people holding hands, especially as a sign of love.
  • roughly equivalent in meaning to “walk along with.”
  • in a figurative sense, it is used to indicate that two things accompany, complement, or are concurrent with one another.

Example Sentences

  1. I saw a couple walking hand in hand along the beach. 
  2. Developing critical thinking skills goes hand in hand with becoming a good writer. 
  3. I can’t imagine going to see a movie without eating popcorn; they go hand in hand.
  4. The burger and bun go hand in hand.
  5. Good sleep and happiness always go hand in hand.
  6. Kelly walked hand in hand with her father on the beach.

Origin

The literal meaning is a translated description of a couple holding hands: one person’s hand is in the other person’s hand. The phrase has been used in a figurative sense since at least the 16th century, and the literal meaning is recorded as early as the 1400s. In his 1606 play, Macbeth (Act I, Scene 3), Shakespeare used the phrase in its literal sense:

“The weird sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about…”

While the phrase is used in translations of much earlier texts, this appears to be a matter of literary license. For example, Fremantle et al. translate a passage from the 66th epistle of St. Jerome (347–419 CE) as “[he] walks hand in hand with virtue”; however, the original Latin could be translated as “[he] walks along with virtue.”

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